Gas Watch: Austin-area prices start to rebound at the pump

Talk 1370 Newsroom
May 21, 2020 - 9:20 am

AUSTIN ( -- Gas prices across the state are continuing to rebound from their COVID-19 lows, as the Texas economy continues to re-open.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel in the Austin metro this week is $1.59, up seven cents from last week and 92 cents cheaper than a year ago. Across the state, Texas drivers are paying an average of $1.60 a gallon, a six cent increase over last week and 97 cents cheaper than a year ago.

Drivers in Midland are paying the most on average at $1.76, while drivers in the Tyler area are seeing the state's lowest average at $1.48. 

Nationwide, drivers are paying an average of $1.93, up six cents from last week and 91 cents cheaper than a year ago.

With the Memorial Day Holiday weekend approaching, gas prices are on the rise but are still at their cheapest in almost two decades. "Even with a holiday weekend just ahead, COVID-19 continues to create demand destruction around the state and country," said Daniel Armbruster with AAA Texas. "Drivers can expect pump prices to push slightly higher in the days ahead due to rising gasoline demand as some states are lifting stay-at-home restrictions and crude oil prices increase."

For the first time in 20 years, AAA is not issuing its annual Memorial Day travel forecast due to COVID-19 impacts on the underlying economic data.

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency’s waiver on the sale of winter-blend gasoline will come to an end. Stations will switch over to summer-blend gasoline, which has a lower Reid Vapor Pressure to prevent excessive evaporation when outside temperatures rise. Reducing the volatility of summer gas decreases emissions that contribute to unhealthy ozone and smog levels. Typically, the switchover to summer-blend can cause gas prices to spike during the summer driving season, but that will likely not be the case this year due to the impact of COVID-19 on demand and crude oil prices.

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