Houston gasoline prices lowest among select major cities in 2019

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By Arthur Murray
Houston drivers enjoy low gasoline prices.

Houston prices for regular gasoline ranged from $1.92 per gallon to $2.61 per gallon during 2019, the lowest among 10 major cities, according to the U.S. Energy Information Association. The average U.S. price for the year was $2.60 a gallon, about 11 cents a gallon lower than in 2019.

Nationally, prices fell the most during the second half of the year, concordant with declining crude oil prices, the EIA says.

As for Houston, the EIA includes it in its Gulf Coast region, which spans Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas and New Mexico. That region has had the country’s lowest prices every year for the past 20 years. Reasons? It contains more than half the country’s refining capacity and produces more – a lot more – gasoline than it uses. Houston’s prices were the lowest in the nation for 45 weeks during 2019.

How other major U.S. cities fared during 2019

Denver and Cleveland were the only other major cities in the EIA report in which the lowest prices fell below $2 per gallon at any point during the year. The highest prices were in California, where the per gallon cost top $4 a gallon in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Following are the 10 cities specified by the EIA and their 2019 price ranges for regular gas:

City Price per gallon range for regular gasoline
Boston $2.35-$2.84
Chicago $2.12-$3.27
Cleveland $1.94-$2.78
Denver $1.94-$2.78
Houston $1.92-$2.61
Los Angeles $3.11-$4.10
Miami $2.20-$2.76
New York $2.32-$2.93
San Francisco $3.23-$4.12
Seattle $2.96-$3.56
U.S. average $2.24-$2.90

How Texas average prices compared with national averages in 2019

The good news on gasoline prices wasn’t confined to Houston. According to prices collected around the first of each month from the American Automobile Association’s Gas Price Calculator, gasoline costs in the Lone Star State were about 8 percent lower than in the rest of the nation.

The Texas average exceeded the national average only in January 2019, when it was $2.93, about 30 percent higher than the national average.

Following are monthly averages for the first of the month in Texas and the U.S. and the percentage difference between them:

Month Texas average U.S. average
January $2.93 $2.25
February $1.99 $2.26
March $2.18 $2.41
April $2.48 $2.69
May $2.62 $2.88
June $2.51 $2.83
July $2.42 $2.71
August $2.47 $2.72
September $2.29 $2.58
October $2.35 $2.66
November $2.25 $2.61
December $2.24 $2.59
2019 average $2.39 $2.60

Overall, it continues a trend of 2019 Texas energy prices generally being lower than the national average.

Arthur Murray directs ChooseEnergy.com’s newsroom, taking advantage of years of newspaper and magazine experience. His articles have appeared on Zillow.com, Business.com, Nasdaq.com, and USNews.com, among others. You may reach him at amurray@chooseenergy.com.