Everything might be bigger in Texas, except gasoline prices.
Texans are paying an average of $3.10 a gallon at the pump, making it one of the cheapest places in the United States to buy gasoline, according to AAA Fuel Gauge.
According to a 24/7 Wall Street analysis, Texas ranked as the second cheapest place in the U.S. to buy gasoline as of Dec. 6. Missouri, which has one of the lowest gasoline taxes, ranked as the cheapest spot.
AAA reported Missouri’s average price of gasoline was $3.04 today, and it has consistently had one of the lowest average prices in the nation for months.
South Carolina, Tennessee and Oklahoma were ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively, according to 24/7 Wall Street.
Texans are benefitting from a relatively low gasoline tax – 20 cents per gallon – and an abundance of refineries, according to the 24/7 analysis. The state has 26 refineries, the most in any state in the United States.
Houston, which is home to a bulk of those refineries, has an average price of $3.09 per gallon.
Fort Worth had the cheapest gasoline in the state at $3.04.
Gasoline prices have had a turbulent year throughout most of the U.S, including in Houston.
Houston drivers saw gasoline prices increase to near the $4 mark during the first half of the year, but the pace eased during the summer months. Prices rose again in August before sliding again in mid-September.
Since then, the price of gasoline has been in a steady free-fall in Houston.
Experts say gasoline prices should continue to drop through the winter months before picking up again in the spring.
Haraz N. Ghanbari / Associated Press
Politicians can directly impact gasoline prices: This has been one of the more debated misconceptions. Crude oil prices make up the bulk of gasoline prices, and crude oil prices are set by the global market. Politicians can impact gasoline prices indirectly, but there is little direct impact they can have.
Joe Raedle / Getty Images
Gas stations make a huge profit off gasoline: Many drivers unfairly believe that gas stations are raking in huge profits on gasoline sales. In fact, it’s the opposite. Gas stations make cents on the dollar.
Don Ryan / AP
Get gas in the morning: This myth really depends on where you live. Gasoline does expand as it warms, meaning you get less gasoline volume when it’s warm. In most places, this isn’t a concern, but Texas is a different story. You might get a few extra drops of gasoline by buying in the morning.
E. Joseph Deering / Houston Chronicle
Tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve could lower prices: This is obviously not true. President Barack Obama tapped the reserve, and drivers barely noticed a difference.
Oil companies produce less in the spring: During the spring months, consumers usually see an increase in the price of gasoline. However, it isn’t because oil companies are reducing production. The increase usually happens because refineries are switching from winter to summer blends and tighter supply due to refinery maintenance.
Turn off the air conditioner, roll down the windows: It’s a popular myth that you can save fuel by turning off the air conditioner and rolling down the windows on the freeway. Sadly, there isn’t much of a saving in doing it. However, you can see a fuel savings by turning off your air conditioner and keeping your windows up.
Overinflating your tires: Some people claim overinflating your tires can help save your money by improve the rolling resistance of the car, but it doesn’t hold up when tested. Overinflating your tires gives you a bumpier ride and a very minimum increase in fuel economy.
Improbcat / Flickr
Gas savings products increase gas mileage: Some products do help improve gas mileage, but a bulk of them don’t do what they say. The Federal Trade Commission tested more than 100 devices and found 25 percent didn’t improve gas mileage. A few even damaged the engines.