Gas prices see another big rise in 2012


The New Year hasn’t been good for gasoline prices.

Gasoline prices rose 8 cents in a week to $3.20 in Houston. Nationally, gas prices are up 7 cents to $3.38, and Texas saw the same 7-cent rise to $3.22.

According to the travel agency, Texarkana has the most expensive gas prices in the state at $3.27, and El Paso has the lowest at $3.04.

With those price hikes, Texans are paying 29 cents more than a year ago. Texans paid $2.93 and Houston drivers paid $2.91 last year.

Since the New Year, gas prices have been steadily rising every week. Prices jumped 6 cents in Houston last week, and analysts have said prices will continue to rise through the spring.

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Tom Kloza, chief analyst for Oil Price Information Service, said gasoline prices will likely build through the spring before tailing off in the final months of the 2012.Kloza said prices could rise between the $3.75 to $4.50 range this spring.

But Kloza said high gasoline prices likely wouldn’t last for long.

“We will see a gasoline spike related to the refinery issues, but the spike won’t last,” he wrote in an email.

However, former Shell Oil president John Hofmeister has a much more doomsday opinion.

Hofmeister said gasoline prices could hit the $5 mark this year because of rising tensions with Iran, refineries closing in the northeast and ongoing fallout from the Gulf of Mexico moratorium.

“I predicted $5 gasoline by the end of 2012 two years ago,” said Hofmeister, who is the founder of the non-profit Citizens for Affordable Energy. “I see no reason to back down from that prediction. I hope I am wrong. All the factors are out there for a supply crunch.”

Hofmeister said consumers are likely to see $5 gas unless the U.S. economy slips into another recession.

“We never had prices as high as we did in 2011,” he said. “And 2012 is going to be worst. Nothing has changed.”

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7 Responses

  1. Jackalope says:

    We keep closing refineries and then wonder why supply cannot keep up with demand. We’ve done the same with power plants and wonder why we have rolling blackouts. Thank you EPA! No other non-elected body welds so much power of us (no pun intended).

  2. yonny says:

    Finished gasoline exports are at record levels and have been on the rise since mid 2009. Continued exports are on the books and anticipated increases when the pipelines that will bring Canadian oil sands and shale oil in the US to the Gulf coast for refining and exporting. Europe is a huge buyer of finished petroleum products along with Latin and South America.

  3. xanegrey says:

    the US dependence on foreign oil is a huge mistake. Our economy would be very strong if we would develop alternative fuels- electric and biofuels, solar and wind then we would not be at the mercy of the middle east.

    in 1974, the USA should have seen the future staring us in the face. and if you think this economy can weather $4-5 gal gasoline then you are mistaken. the 2008 collapse was the result of $4/gal gasoline.

    our country had better wake up.

  4. mike says:

    Geez, stop the war talk already. When will America learn that in the end these crazy pointless wars are just going to cost us dearly, and the poor folks now have to worry about $5 gas?

    Wake up, America. [x] Ron Paul

  5. Ed says:

    No sense taking care of ourselves with domestic petroleum products when the wonderful people in the rest of the world have our best interests in mind… I’m sure they will be happy to supply all the oil we can use (until it is in their interest to stop).+

  6. how are those iranian sanctions working for you?

  7. TheRealRick says:

    Thank goodness that our good friends in the Middle East have enough oil to keep us going no matter how much it costs. With war looming on the horizon, we will be paying double, or triple what we pay now, and our hard earned money can be used toward the rebuiling of the destroyed infrastures of those countries.