Higher Gas Prices Benefitting the Texas Economy

Nobody likes rising gas prices, but Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton says due to major structural changes in the Texas oil industry, this time the higher prices are benefiting not the sheikhs in Saudi Arabia but the Texas economy and Texas employers, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

The price of gas in San Antonio has risen sharply in the past three weeks to an average of $2.49 today, according to GasBuddy.com, the highest pump price since Labor Day of 2015.

But Sitton, during a recent visit with business leaders in San Antonio, told News Radio 1200 WOAI those higher prices are benefiting the State of Texas, and that means better services and lower taxes.

"Even though it doesn't feel good when you're buying gasoline, high oil prices are good for the state," Sitton said. "When you look at our roads, our schools, and our hospitals, the biggest chunk of revenue to state government is the oil business."

And Sitton says due to the fracking boom, both the U.S. and Texas are producing record amount of oil, making Texas one of the few states in the U.S. which is benefiting from higher gas prices.

"When those oil prices get up there and we pay a little more at the pump, overall our state's economy gets a lot better."

And Sitton says because of that, the money we are paying at the pump is not flowing into the pockets of corrupt dictators in OPEC nations, but are staying right here in Texas to allow private oil companies to hire and invest.

A strong oil industry in Texas is the largest economic multiplier in the state, benefiting not just its own employees, but area ranging from manufacturing to retail.

And Sitton expects the Texas oil boom to continue in the coming years. Texas is now producing slightly more than 3 million barrels of oil per day.

"I can see Texas production going to 5 even 6 million barrels a day in the next 5 to 7 years," he said.

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