Experts: Low gas prices "mixed blessing" for Houston

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Gas prices in Houston could drop to 2 dollars a gallon on average, according to AAA. Many in our area are already seeing prices as low as $1.80. The current average is hovering at $2.06. A year ago, you were paying about $3.15 on average. Houston hit on an all-time high back in July of 2008. A gallon of gas on average cost almost $3.97.

The dip might save drivers hundreds potentially thousands of dollars over time. However, energy experts stress low prices are a "mixed blessing" for the Bayou City.

Bill Arnold is a professor in the practice of energy management at Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Business. Arnold told Eyewitness News lower gas prices continue to his the oil industry hard. With layoffs already announced, many companies plan to scale back investments and hiring.

"I've seen estimates for example the average family in the US will be saving somewhere between $750 - $1300 per year as a result of these lower prices so there's that benefit for the economy but Texas is probably paying more than its share in terms of economic impact of jobs," said Arnold. "There's a pretty strong correlation between gasoline prices and crude prices. Of course, nobody really knows where those crude prices are going but we're passed the summer peak season so you really wouldn't anticipate much higher gasoline prices for a while."
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