SOURCE: AAA Texas

September 16, 2008 13:22 ET

AAA Texas: Gas Price Increases Slow in Most Texas Cities

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - September 16, 2008) - Although gas prices rose overnight in all communities monitored by AAA Texas, the rate of increase seems to be slowing in many areas. Nationwide, the average price for regular gasoline rose 1.2 cents to $3.854. Statewide, the average reached $3.698, up 1.4 cents from Monday and up 15.2 cents since Friday, September 12 before Hurricane Ike tore into Texas.

It appears that the rate of the price increases in most communities has slowed compared to prior days. Most refineries in the wake of Hurricane Ike reported little damage, but it can still take up to two weeks or more to get these refineries powered back up and producing gasoline.

The following are the overall average price increases since Friday, September 12.

Amarillo                $3.672 - up 13.3 cents
Austin/San Marcos       $3.656 - up 4.8 cents
Beaumont/Port Arthur    $3.662 - up 3.0 cents
Corpus Christi          $3.613 - up 3.1 cents
Dallas                  $3.701 - up 21.9 cents
El Paso                 $3.674 - up 11.6 cents
Fort Worth/Arlington    $3.712 - up 23 cents
Galveston/Texas City    $3.663 - up 14.4 cents
Houston                 $3.627 - up 13.1 cents
San Antonio             $3.616 - up 6.3 cents
Texarkana (Texas side)  $3.815 - up 23.7 cents

"Each day, more gas stations are coming back on line and more fuel is being delivered, but experts say that consumers should expect it to be a few weeks before supplies get back to pre-hurricane levels and prices start decreasing," said Dan Ronan, corporate communications and community affairs manager for AAA Texas. "We are being helped somewhat with the continuing decline in the price of oil. Today it continues to trade below $100 per barrel, due to weakness in the financial markets, a stronger dollar and low demand."

Each night AAA and its partner http://www.fuelgaugereport.com electronically survey more than 100,000 stations nationwide and more than 8,000 in Texas. We continue to hear of some stations that have increased their prices higher than the averages, but because our survey covers so many stations, those individual facilities are not distorting the figures. We believe these numbers today are a true indication of the price of gasoline.

"AAA Texas encourages Texans in the greater Houston area to continue to conserve gasoline by driving judiciously, combining errands and using the most economic vehicle available in the family," added Ronan.

In general, most service station owners are handling this difficult fuel supply situation with a great deal of responsibility and while there are reports of price gouging, the situation is today manageable. However, if you feel you've been the victim of gasoline price gouging, the Attorney General's office is enforcing those laws and there are very specific requirements as to what is and is not gouging. The best advice AAA Texas can give motorists is to save your receipts and after the storm passes then contact Attorney General Greg Abbott's office.

If you have insurance through AAA Texas and have a claim, please call 1-800-672-5246. Claims adjusters are standing by to take your calls and questions.

MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA: AAA TEXAS IS CLOSELY FOLLOWING THE OVERNIGHT CHANGES IN GASOLINE PRICES AS A RESULT OF HURRICANE IKE. SPOKESMAN DAN RONAN IS IN HOUSTON ON WITH OTHER MEMBERS OF THE AAA TEXAS TEAM AND CAN SPEAK ABOUT GAS PRICES, HOME INSURANCE CLAIMS OR IKE'S AFFECT ON ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE EFFORTS.

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