Unusual Decline In Gas Prices As Memorial Day Approaches

The month of May usually brings higher gasoline prices — as oil companies prepare for higher demand that comes with the Memorial Day holiday and the summer driving season.

But “this” May has seen a significant drop in prices at the pump, as David Pitman reports.

The average retail price for a gallon of gasoline in the Houston area fell by about six cents over the last week to $2.64.

“That’s down about, y’know, 20 cents from our high earlier this May.”

Patrick DeHaan is a Senior Petroleum Analyst for, which tracks gasoline prices.  He says the debt crisis in Europe has made investors nervous, thus bringing down the cost of crude oil.

“And, you know, looking at the fundamental side of things, investors see more-than-adequate supply.  Gasoline stockpiles are actually 6% higher than even a year ago.”

DeHaan says retail gasoline prices still have some room to come down to match the decline in wholesale prices.  He expects prices to continue falling for the next two or three weeks, then remain relatively stable until August.

“I would suggest that if motorists are thinking about taking a vacation, to take it earlier in the summer.  We’re looking forward to the hurricane season, and it’s forecast to be a little more active.  And we all can remember the days after Hurricane Katrina when prices went up 40 cents almost overnight.”

Even though pump prices have fallen about 20 cents per gallon this month, they’re still almost 40 cents higher than this time last year.

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required


David Pitman

David Pitman

Host, Morning Edition

Hi there. I’m glad you found me. Let me take a moment to answer some of the questions you might have about me and my job. I have worked as Morning Edition Host and reporter at News 88.7 since August of 2009. Previously, I hosted Morning Edition at WMFE in...

More Information