CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — With gas prices reaching all-time highs in Texas, everybody is being impacted -- from farmers to their elected officials.
One of those elected officials, State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, believes drilling oil wells could be a solution to the problem.
The national average for the price of gasoline sits at $4.59 right now, according to AAA. At this time last year, the average price was $3.04.
Here in Texas, people are paying around $4.29 a gallon today, whereas in 2021, it was just $2.75.
"Usually it takes about $50 or $60 at the most to fill my tank. To fill up," Hinojosa said. "But I filled up my tank this morning, it was $100, and I was still in shock."
J.C. Colmenero is the Director of the Physical Plant and Facilities at Coastal Bend College. He explained the impact of fuel costs when it comes to all of the cars, trucks, and buses that the college constantly uses for travel.
"I am taking into account that we have multiple vehicles, multiple staff members, that will be traveling," Colmenero said. "So my take on anything that's going to be travel related is taking a 20-percent increase on any budget proposals that we're doing."
Brian Bauerle is the head baseball coach for Coastal Bend College. He's also a farmer and rancher with a 650-acre spread in nearby Mineral, Texas. Like all farmers and ranchers, he said fuel costs are putting a strain on his operations. Bauerle said it now costs $300 a day to run his tractor. He said that before, iit was just $100.
"You were able to get farm diesel, the red diesel, and you can't even get the red diesel anymore, and that's the price we were getting it at," Bauerle said. "And now it's the price that it is at the pump, so we're not even getting a tax break for the farmers anymore."
Senator Hinojosa is hoping that new oil drilling projects across the state will eventually help drive down gas costs.
"There is an increase in drilling to produce more oil, but keep in mind that it takes a while to get the pumps going and get to drilling," Hinojosa said.
The American Petroleum Institute pointed out that U.S. oil exports in April caused historically low inventories, and U.S. oil and gas drilling activity is down some 36-percent since March of 2019.
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