Currently, gas prices in and around Brown County are hovering around $1.85, which is a far cry from the nearly $4 per gallon we all paid in 2007-08. 

The effects of the falling price of a barrel of oil have had a trickle down effect ranging from industry to local government and even to John Q. Taxpayer. 

Despite the price of oil being tied to a healthy economy or one in a recession, lower prices for the cost of gasoline and home heating fuel benefit everyone. 

Industry is able to relax a little bit knowing that its yearly budgeted fuel expenditure may not be exhausted as consumption will be the close to the same as the previous year but coming at a lower cost.

The same goes for municipalities and the family of five who will be able to take road trips to zoos, lakes and into the city for cultural activities and shopping. 

The fact the price of oil has fallen does hurt the economy, but at the smalltown level – such as Brownwood, Early, Bangs and other municipalities – the lower fuel prices mean there won’t be as much money spent on fossil fuels that we so rely upon. 

The supply and demand aspect of the oil industry dictates the cost of gasoline and home heating fuel, and at the same time dictating how much is taken out of or left in our pocket at the end of the day. 

With lower fuel prices, people are able to travel more and enjoy getaways such as vacations. That also directly affects tourism, which our region relies upon. If gas prices are lower, tourists, including locals, are able to get to such places as Lake Brownwood and have a fun day with picnics, swimming and boating. 

This also helps boost our economy. People have to travel to the lake, which requires gasoline, then they must purchase food, again helping the economy, to transport to the lake as part of their day. Of course, the water level at the lake this past summer also helped.

 With more money left in allotments of city, school, county, state and home budgets due to the lower cost of gasoline, this will help ensure there is more money to spend on other items. With municipalities not having to pay as much for fuel there is the potential that taxes would not increase the following fiscal year.

On the home front, there is more money left in budgets for other items, such as a home repair, purchasing a “want” or a “need” or just socking it away for a rainy day.

Yes, gas prices are low. Enjoy them while you can. You never know when there will be a shakeup in the global economy and a spike in gas prices, which will directly affect everything we do.

– Brownwood Bulletin