Falling gas prices good for drivers, bad for La. jobs - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Falling gas prices good for drivers, bad for La. jobs

Gasoline prices around New Orleans fell just more than 2 cents in the past week. (FOX 8 Photo) Gasoline prices around New Orleans fell just more than 2 cents in the past week. (FOX 8 Photo)
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

“When it’s like this, I don’t really have a problem with actually going to work,” driver Pam Morrell said.

Filling up at the pump has some drivers smiling.

“With my Winn Dixie card, it’s even lower. I got 45 cents more off,” Morrell said.

Gasoline prices around New Orleans fell just more than 2 cents in the past week, bringing the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas to $2.32.

“It’s much better. I actually got rid of a Mountaineer because it was costing too much in gas. With this car, it costs me less, but having lower prices is good,” Janie Gilberti said.

Eric Smith with the Tulane Energy Institute said too much production and not enough demand caused the prices to drop, but it’s a little more complicated in Louisiana because of the oil and gas industry here.

“Saudi Arabia, starting in November of 2014, decided that they were going to go for market share rather than a stable price for all in the world market. They’re producing about 10 million-plus barrels a day,” Smith said.

That means oil and gas production in Louisiana will likely have to slow down, which could cost jobs.

“Companies like Shell Oil have had to lay off 6,500 people," Smith said. "It seems to be most felt in the oil producers who tend to be mostly independent companies. They are able to cut back easily, as opposed to the deep water oil producers which takes years for them to slow up.”

In the long run, Louisiana will suffer because the jobs that are being lost are among the highest-paid jobs in Louisiana.

“The other thing the state will see, of course, is the companies that are drilling will be paying less taxes,” Smith said.

Smith said things will likely turn around simply because when the gas prices drop, drivers tend to fill up more, and the demand will eventually rise.

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