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Policy: Environment & Energy

Fracking helps lower gas prices across the country

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Beltway Confidential,New Mexico,Ashe Schow,Energy and Environment,Fracking,Natural Gas

Charley Brewer used to be accused of price gouging at his gas station in Santa Fe, N.M. But now, thanks to hydraulic fracturing - fracking - gas prices across the country are falling - especially in the Southwest.

The higher prices of the past were due to shipping gasoline from the coasts, but because of the fracking boom in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, prices are falling fast.

“Everything used to be based on the coast — that’s where the product came in from,” Brewer said. “Now the product is coming out of the mid-continent, and that’s changed the dynamics.”

New Mexico’s current average gasoline price is $3 – 21 cents below the national average.

States that are producing more natural gas have seen gas prices fall faster in recent years, with Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas leading the pack.

“The lowest prices tend to be in places closest to refineries but particularly close to the cheap domestic crude,” Tom Kloza, an analyst for GasBuddy, told CNBC. “Oklahoma is the beneficiary, as are the Rockies.”

Lower prices at the pump don’t just help American families save on their gas bills. Lower gas prices also means lower shipping prices, which means lower prices for food.

Fracking may still have some health and environmental hurdles to clear, but the country is already benefitting greatly from the process.

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