Pain at the pump continues for Houston drivers

March 6, 2011 5:11:54 AM PST
The pain at the pump continues for drivers. The average price per gallon here in Houston is $3.37 -- that's up two cents from last week. Nationally, the number is at $3.50.

You might be surprised why the prices are so high though. Its not a shortage of oil; more like an abundance of fear. It's in part due to the unrest in Libya, the world's 17th largest oil producer. It doesn't help that only one permit has been granted by the federal government for deep water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico since the BP well blow out and that permit was just given last week.

Oil closed above $104 a barrel Friday, more expensive than any other time in the past two and a half years. Nationally gas prices have skyrocketed 29 cents in the last 10 days. Some in California are already paying more than $4 a gallon.

There are some simple things you can do to make your vehicle use fuel more efficiently: For example, experts say to remember to drive the speed limit. Experts say every five miles an hour you drive over 60, is like paying an additional 24 cents a gallon; Clean out your trunk as an extra 100 pounds in your vehicle can reduce your MPG's by up to 2 percent; Use a GPS or figure out more direct routes to get where you're going; Maintain your tire pressure; And always try to anticipate your stops so you can let up on the accelerator earlier.

You're paying more not just on the ground to travel as airlines are passing along higher fuel costs too. Fares went up an average of $10 last week.