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Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 11:59am

Crisis in Middle East may be contributing to spike in gas prices

KDBC
Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 8:02pm

The conflict in the Middle East may be fueling a spike in prices at the pump. Even though El Paso motorists may pay less than national drivers for gas. El Paso motorists oay almost 20 cents less than the national average price for gas per gallon. But as an Econmics Professor at UTEP explains, Borderland residents tend to hit the road more than motorists in other cities, we may be visiting the pump more often.

Sandra Fierro is on her way to work in Downtown El Paso. "Can only afford ten dollars right now," Fierro said as she pumped her gas at a Downtown El Paso gas station. Even though the amount of gas she's pumping is minimal she explains why she's feeling the pain at the pump. "I don't go shopping I probably go maybe once a month instead of how it used to be before just because gas is so expensive."

The East El Pasoan is just one of many motorists I spoke with who are feeling the affects of rising gas prices and the effects of a war-torn state, "3.59, 3.79, I'm like why?," she asked rhetorically.

"Oh man, with the war and all that's going on, it's going to go up," Martin Avalos, Downtown El Paso, exclaimed.

Amateur video shows an oil refinery in the Middle East in flames adding to the already fractured state which some experts say is adding to the sticker shock at the pump. "Oil is a global commodity and so if prices go up in one region in the world, it tends to effect other regions of the world," Dr. Tom Fullerton. an Economics Professor at UTEP explained.

Fullerton explains that even though our region relies on a minimal amount of oil from the Middle East, it's an interconnected market, tensions in Iraq are spiking gas prices. "And it can translate into 25 cent per gallon increase in gasoline prices in a very short period of time. Right now that's not on the horizon," the professor said.

Right now the average El Pasoan is paying $3.48 a gallon, just a penny more than last week but with Iraq's uncertain future, El Paso motorists like Fierro are slimming down their budget and getting creative.

"Maybe we can make an idea, I could patent it but get some rollerblades with motors that are electrical," Avalos mused.

"So I always tend to put gas at night," Fierro explained.
 

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