AUSTIN (KXAN) — Millions of Americans are expected to take a trip this Labor Day weekend, and many will be seeing some relief at the pump as gas prices continue to drop after record highs in June.
In Texas, a gallon of regular unleaded gas now costs an average of $3.34. That’s down 7 cents in the past week and down $1.35 since a record $4.70 on June 15.
Drivers in El Paso are currently paying the most at the pump: an average of $3.61 per gallon. The Brownsville-Harlingen and McAllen metro areas have the cheapest gas in the state right now at $3.20 per gallon followed by Sherman-Denison at $3.21.
According to AAA, there are several factors that explain why some cities see higher gas prices. Individual retailers set their own prices, so local supply and demand can cause prices to change more quickly in some parts of the state compared to others. Distribution costs can also factor in.
While prices are still higher than this time last year — by an average of 54 cents across the state — Texas has seen considerable improvement since the record highs in June.
The map below shows how prices have dropped since the June records. The darker the blue, the more cost savings that metro has seen.
Prices have decreased the most in the Sherman-Denison metro, north of Dallas. Prices there have dropped by $1.61 from a record high of $4.82 on June 16. The Dallas and Fort Worth-Arlington metro areas are right behind, with decreases of $1.52 since their peak.
San Antonio drivers have seen a drop of $1.43 since record highs there, while prices in Austin-San Marcos are down $1.31.
Prices in Midland have decreased the least — down $1.06 since the peak — but the metro didn’t see prices quite as high as elsewhere. The peak in Midland was $4.52 on June 11.
The statewide average of $3.34 means Texas continues to have among the cheapest gas in the nation. As of Sept. 1, only Arkansas’ average is lower than Texas’ — by 1 cent.
Across the country, 36 other states now have an average below $4 a gallon. Illinois has seen the largest decrease in prices. The state’s average currently is $4.16, down $1.41 from a record of $5.56 on June 13.
Only California and Hawaii remain above $5 a gallon at $5.25 and $5.30 respectively.