EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – With gas prices in El Paso higher than most cities in the state, a local expert said one of those reason has to do with the processing of migrants.

“Numerically we are at the top of the pack, but we are really not that much different than everywhere else in the region,” said Tom Fullerton, a UTEP Professor of Economics.

According to AAA, in El Paso, the average price per gallon of unleaded gas right now is at $3:02.
In Texas, the average is $2.81 per gallon, but El Paso is currently closer to the national average of $3.19.

El Pasoans say they’ve noticed.

“People are trying to travel and it’s just costing us more money,” said El Pasoan William Cook.

“It just makes it more of a hassle,” said Marcus Hinojosa.

“I used to spend like 15-20 dollars, now I spend like 30-40 dollars just on gas,” said Simon Garcia, also an El Pasoan.

Fullerton said El Paso is seeing is a larger institutional demand for gas and diesel.

“That’s because of all the issues with the mass migration out of Central America as well as the arrival of the Afghan refugees and the village camps set up in New Mexico on the ground of fort bliss,” said Fullerton.

But he said higher prices is a sign of good news for our community.

“Anytime the economy strengthens it almost always translates, into higher gasoline and diesel prices,” said Fullerton.

AAA said while oil prices are on the rise, prices in El Paso have actually decreased in the past week.

To see more on the gas price trends click here.