HOUSTON - FOX 26 spoke with a supply chain and business law professor at the University of Houston Downtown about increasing gasoline prices and why people might be paying more at the pump in lower-income neighborhoods.
Professor Dietrich von Biedenfeld tells us it comes down to branded and unbranded gas stations. Saying branded gas stations, like Shell, that are owned and operated by the major corporation can rely more on their oil contracts. But for unbranded locations, mom-and-pops shops, they are typically last in line.
Professor Biedenfeld correlates food deserts to fuel deserts.
"Those mom-and-pop locations don’t have those long term contracts and once that scarcity really sets in they are going to have to raise prices through the roof," said Biedenfeld.
Increasing gas prices are impacting people across the nation. Some are now finding alternative modes of travel and others have no other option but to pay up.
"It’s astronomical the highest gas prices I’ve ever seen since I've been here, I’ve lived here my entire life," said Darrell Williams, Houstonian. "I’m trying to walk to work now because prices are so high."
"To me honestly I don’t care, regardless if it’s cheaper or expensive we still use it, and we still need it," said Yolanda Torres, Houstonian.
Professor Biedenfeld says to expect prices to go up even more, referencing the 1980s Oil Glut when prices skyrocketed.
"It takes a little time for the market to reflect, give it a week, and you’ll start to see prices going up even higher," said Biedenfeld. "You are going to see a lot more of those plastic bags on handles."