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Texans react to climbing gas prices as Biden announces plan to lower costs

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 10:35 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Texas drivers reacted to high prices they are seeing at the pump, as President Joe Biden announced a plan Tuesday to help lower fuel costs.

The President will be releasing 50 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, located right here in Texas and the Louisiana Gulf coasts, to help lower the cost of fuel for those traveling to see family and friends this Thanksgiving.

“Obviously, they’re higher than they were in the last couple of years but it’s a market that’s always fluctuating,” said Kaleb West, a consumer.

The West family, who has plans to spend Thanksgiving Day in Wichita Falls, pulled into Murphy’s Gas Station to fill up for the third time after driving five hours from Nacogdoches and spending almost $200 on gas.

“East Texas prices are very similar to here in Wichita Falls. As we hit the bigger cities coming through the metroplex areas, prices seemed to be a little bit higher there,” said West.

While the President announced his decision to release 50 million barrels out of over 600 million barrels in the SRT, experts in the oil and gas industry said it’s a quick fix to a problem that needs a long term solution.

“The 50 million barrels that we’re talking about releasing in the marketplace is maybe five or six days worth of crude oil,” said Karr Ingham, petroleum economist with the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers.

President Biden will be releasing 32 million barrels on Wednesday and the remaining 18 million over the next several months, with Texas producing more than 40% of U.S. crude oil.

“What we need to have is U.S. crude producers led by the state of Texas to do what they do best, that is to respond to prices, respond to markets and drill more wells,” said Ingham.

Other consumers said they hope to see gas prices stay down as they travel from day-to-day.

“I wish they weren’t so high, considering I do drive a suburban but it is what it is I guess,” said Karen Rangel, a consumer.

“Our grocery store gives us discounts. Here where we are today, we have an account and that helps a little bit,” said West.

Reports show that the national average is up 2.2 cents from October and $1.30 per gallon higher than a year ago. Roads are also expected to be a lot busier with nearly 4 million Texans traveling this holiday season than last year.

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