Gas prices slide for Thanksgiving travelers

As more than 40 million Americans and 3.3 million Texans are experiencing Thanksgiving travel, they’ll find falling gasoline prices. According to the AAA Texas Fuel Gauge report, the statewide average in Texas dropped four cents to $2.68 from $2.72 a gallon last week. Nationally the drop was two cents from $2.89 to $2.87.Texas continues to be well below the national average, this week the difference is 19 cents.The least expensive gasoline can be found in Galveston and San Antonio where prices dropped four cents in Galveston and three cents in San Antonio. Both cities are at $2.65. The price in Sweetwater is currently $2.61.The most expensive gasoline is in Austin at $2.70, where prices fell two cents.What’s driving the market?• Falling oil prices are slowing bringing gasoline prices down. Less than two weeks ago oil was at nearly $90 a barrel. Today on the NYMEX exchange, oil prices have tumbled to below $82 a barrel.• 66 percent of the price of a gallon of gasoline is directly related to the price of oil. An increase of a few dollars in a barrel of oil means consumers pay a nickel or a dime more at the pump. The other 34 percent of the price of gasoline comes from local, state and federal taxes, refining costs, the distribution of fuel from storage facilities to gas stations and marketing.“Thanksgiving is seeing a significant increase in travel. AAA Texas is projecting a jump of 11.9 percent this year compared to 2009. Of the 3.33 million people projected to travel, 95 percent, or 3.16 million, will drive, so falling gas prices will benefit a large majority of Thanksgiving travelers,” said AAA Corporate Communications Manager Dan Ronan in Irving, Texas.