The price of natural gas, a critical commodity in Texas, is still too high and the state’s gas grid is vulnerable to disruption due to natural gas supply disruptions, according to a report from the American Association of State Gas Officials.
The AASG said in its annual Energy Outlook that Texas’ gas price reached an all-time high of $4.35 a gallon in 2018.
That’s $1.7 more than the state had set in 2020.
The price reached $4 a gallon for the first time in 2018, according the AASBO.
That figure has risen more than 400 percent from 2020, when the state used a price cap that was intended to curb a rise in the cost of natural-gas.
Gas prices are expected to reach a level of $5.50 a gallon next year, with the cap set to expire at the end of 2019.
The AASGA says the state needs to continue to reduce the costs of natural Gas through a combination of state policies and private incentives.AASG president Jim Riggs said in a statement the price of gas in Texas is far too low, even after accounting for inflation.
Texas is still a high cost producer of natural resources, and the recent economic downturn has caused further price increases, he said.
The AISG’s outlook assumes that a gas price of $1 a gallon will remain in place for at least the next decade.
But a price below $1 would likely prompt the state to raise its natural gas tax and the cap would be triggered if Texas doesn’t achieve the $5 a gallon goal.
The state has been working to lower its gas prices since the late 1980s.
The state’s price cap, set in 2003, was intended as a way to reduce costs and prevent the price rise that was seen in many other states.
But the state has never met its cap.
State Rep. Donna Howard (D) said in an interview Tuesday that the AISg report is an opportunity for Texas to “do something about the problem.”
She said that while gas prices remain high, the state could have a “deeper impact on the state economy” if it adopted a gas tax, a move that would lower the cost to consumers.
The proposed cap would also be revenue neutral.
Howard said that since the gas price has been driven higher by supply disruptions caused by natural gas shortages, the cap has failed to provide enough revenue to support Texas’ infrastructure.
The State Energy Board, the agency that regulates Texas natural gas production, has said that a cap of $3.50 per 1,000 cubic feet of gas would not have the impact that the cap currently has.