Lower prices at Angelina Co. pumps are early Christmas present for travelers

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Gas prices in Texas have fallen significantly in recent weeks. These plummeting gasoline prices will be a holiday break for many consumers.

A month ago, a gallon of gas cost, on average, about $3.25 cents in Texas. Today gas prices in Lufkin average 15 cents cheaper, and experts say prices are only going to continue to drop just in time for Christmas.

Holiday travelers like Stuart Castleberry feel it's important to pay less for gas this time of year.

"It's such a significant portion of what you spend just traveling," Stuart Castleberry.

Donny Standfield considers the recent decrease to be a blessing.

"You definitely need every cent you can keep in your pocket, so if gas prices are down, then that'll be a blessing for everyone," Donny Standfield, another holiday traveler, said.

Although prices are lower, travelers are confused by the different prices across the state.

"Last week I was driving from Houston to Austin and gas was $2.78," Castleberry said. "I passed that up thinking the next station would be about the same, and the next time, I was able to get gas it was $3.09 or $3.10."

Stephen F. Austin economic professor Mike Stroup, an economics professor at Stephen F. Austin State University, said the confusion can come from traveling in a metropolitan area versus rural.

"The larger metropolitan areas are going to enjoy some economies of scale in transportation costs, so the companies don't have to charge as high price to make the same profit margin and that might explain some differentials in price across the cities," Stroup said. "Other differentials  can be explained by the fact that we have a little less competition here in the Nacogdoches County and Angelina County area and that also tends to drive up prices."

Stroup says gas prices are only going to trend downward temporarily and recommends consumers to continue to watch prices after the holiday.

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