Mar 1, 2023 - News

Houston among cheapest cities for gas

Data: GasBuddy; Note: Price as of the first of each month; Chart: Axios Visuals

Houston drivers spent an average of $2.93 per gallon of gas in February, according to GasBuddy data. That's down 8% year over year, but up 2% from January.

  • Ours is among the cheapest in the country. Nationally, gas cost about $3.40 per gallon in February — down 6% year over year, but up 2% from January.
  • San Francisco has among the country's highest average gas prices, at $4.76 per gallon in February.

Why it matters: More than three-quarters of American commuters drive to and from work, meaning they're particularly sensitive to the ebbs and flows of prices at the pump — especially as other basic goods also get more expensive.

Yes, but: Lower prices may disincentivize drivers from switching to more efficient cars, going electric or embracing other modes of transportation, like biking or taking public transit — all of which can have big environmental benefits.

Between the lines: Gas prices are also a political football, rightfully so or not.

  • When they're high, many Americans tend to blame whoever's sitting in the Oval Office — even though, as Axios' Andrew Freedman has reported, they lack significant control over the cost of commodities priced on global markets, oil included.

Driving the news: Crude oil prices have fallen over the past year, leading to cheaper gas.

  • A barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude — a common industry benchmark — costs around $76 as of Tuesday, down from about $122 in June 2022.
  • Oil prices spiked last year amid uncertainty over Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the economic sanctions against Russia — a major oil producer — that followed.
  • While the fighting drags on, oil markets have largely stabilized, as CNN reports.

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