PHOENIX — As the year comes to a close and the holiday shopping season approaches, there could be good news awaiting consumers: Lower gas prices.
Bernard Weinstein with the Maguire Energy Institute in Dallas said national average gas prices, including those in Arizona, could slip below $2 per gallon in 2016.
“We’ve had a huge increase in supply in the United States; 100 percent increase in oil output in the past decade thanks to hydraulic fracturing,” he said Monday. “You put it all together and we’re facing a glut that is pushing down prices.”
Weinstein said the fall in gas prices will benefit Arizona because the state does not boast a large number of jobs in the oil industry.
“It’s a very different picture in North Dakota, Oklahoma or Texas,” he said. “There are 32 states that produce a commercial amount of oil or natural gas. To a varying degree, they’re all being affected. So except for people losing jobs in the oil patch, cheaper energy is probably a good thing.”
Texas has lost 200,000 jobs as prices slipped over the last 18 months. The state gets between 15-20 percent of its annual revenue from the oil industry.
Monday’s national average was $2.29 per gallon. Arizona’s was two cents higher.
At this time last year, Arizonans were paying nearly $3.25 per gallon.
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