Gas prices projected to go down starting in 2022

People filling their gas tank has been tough on their bank accounts lately.

The federal government said help is on the way, projecting people will spend less at the gas station in 2022. 

"If it’s empty, it would probably take $80, so it hurts, it’s a little bit too much," driver Miguel Jimenez said.

Nationwide gas prices have skyrocketed. 

In November, the price to fill people’s tank was the highest it’s been since 2014, according to the U.S. Energy and Information Administration. 

Here in Texas, the prices are below $3 a gallon, but it’s still higher than last year. 

"I have a truck I drive that gets 10 miles a gallon. Last time I filled up it was $80," driver Thomas Bonokoski said. "So, yeah, I’ve made some adjustments, didn’t go out of town for the holidays."

But good news is on the horizon. 

This week, the EIA projected prices will start to decline at the start of 2022. 

"It's supply and demand. It's always supply and demand," retired SMU economist Bud Weinstein said.

Weinstein said domestic production has increased. 

Output in West Texas is at pre-pandemic levels. 

Also, countries like Russia have agreed to increase output. 

Gas pump

FILE - A view of a fuel pump at a petrol station shows gas prices over $4.

Weinstein said all of these things combined make for lower gas prices. 

"The Environmental Protection Agency announced lower levels of ethanol requirements to be blended into gasoline. Now that's also going to help bring prices down a bit because ethanol prices have skyrocketed," Weinstein explained.

Last year, the national average for a gallon of gas was $2.18. 

In November, the monthly average topped out at $3.39 and it leveled off around there in recent weeks.

Bonokoski usually drives his truck during the week, because of high prices, he’s driving a more gas efficient car. 

"I drive this piece of junk just because it gets 38 miles to the gallon," he said.

For Jimenez, while it takes $80 to fill his truck, he isn’t making any adjustments, but will be happy to see lower prices in a month. 

"I still got to go to work, I still got to put gas in my truck. Even if it goes up or down," he said.

Weinstein said this won’t just be a one-time drop. 

He believes we will see sustained low prices at the start of 2022.

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