How low will gas prices go? - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

How low will gas prices go?

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Gas prices could be on the way back below three dollars per gallon here in East Texas.

That’s according to a local expert, who said a number of factors mean East Texans will likely be pocketing some big savings at the pump by Christmas.

It’s good news for Margaret Musgrave, who has made a living for over 11 years as a cab driver in Tyler.

“I pay for the gas every day,” Musgrave said. “The more runs that I make, a little more money I can make to put in my pocket after paying for gas.”

So for her, the higher price is a direct hit.

“Sometimes it's a lot less than I would like to take,” Musgrave said. “I'm happy right now making what I can.”

But relief could be on the horizon if Harold Doty is right.

“We should see it continue to go down,” Doty, the UT Tyler Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, said. “10, 15, 20 cents a gallon would be my guess. I think $2.85 to $2.90 is quite likely. We should see below three in Tyler again.”

Why another dip? Doty said an oil and gas surplus, use of winter blends, slow economic growth and relative stability in the Middle East all fuel the price burn-off. But could it go even lower?

“The big kicker is whether the EPA will relax the ethanol standards,” Doty said. “If they cut the ethanol standards as much as they were talking about, we could see $2.75 a gallon.”

That’s music to the ears of not just Musgrave, but other East Texas drivers too.

“Oh that'd be a blessing,” Musgrave said. “It would help a whole lot, a whole lot.”

“I wish they would go back lower than that!” said Roberto Vazquez..

“That would be a blessing,” Bruce Cooper said.

But in this case, what goes down will inevitably go back up.

“Enjoy it now,” Doty said. “The good times are here, and let's enjoy them, but they're going to end.”

He predicts a slow and steady climb at the beginning of the new year, something drivers like Musgrave said is just a fact of life.

“We'll just have to keep on going,” Cooper said. “We've got to use it, so we can't go without it.”

“It's just something we have to learn to deal with and make the most with what we've got,” Musgrave said.

Doty also said drivers will end up paying less for gas in 2013 than in 2012, adding that data also predicts 2014 will cost drivers less at the pump than just two years ago.

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