Forty-two million Americans are expected to hit the road this holiday season. The good news is that gas prices have been dropping, but for diesel drivers prices are remaining at a steady high. Diesel prices have been rising for years, but now the price difference between diesel and gas is very noticeable.
According to AAA the current average in Texas for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.05 but diesel is $3.70, a 65 cent difference.
Twenty-six years on the road and truck driver Gary Farris barely remembers how low diesel prices used to be.
"99 cents a gallon, somewhere through there," he said.
But now the price has changed.
"Depending on what part of the country you're in, $3.99 to $4.50."
Costing him nearly $1,000 to fill up his 300 gallon tank.
"With the fuel price going up during the winter and our rates going down it makes the profit margin a whole lot closer," he said.
According to Alex Mills President of Texas Alliance of Energy Producers worldwide demand for diesel is extremely high and that's reflecting the prices. He also says a few years ago the federal government established regulations to lower sulfur levels in diesel making it difficult for refiners to retrofit.
"That has created more of a shrinkage of supply and every time supply shrinks and demand
increases then you have this price escalation," said Mills.
Diesel is also taxed much higher than gasoline 24.4 cents per gallon 6 cents more than gasoline. Alex Mills says the future looks gloomy for diesel users and expects cities across the nation to look into natural gas vehicles
"It's environmentally friendly, much cheaper, almost 20 times cheaper than crude oil," he said.
As for truck driver Gary Farris he just sticks to the plan.
"What can we do except try to survive."
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