As the prices of gasoline have lowered and stabilized under $2 many have been rejoicing and enjoying the saved dollars. However, there are many experiencing a downside to the savings.
With the oil boom being a major source of employment for South Texas it should not come as a surprise that residents in the local area are not completely enthused with the changes as of late. Oil field workers depend on their jobs to provide for their families and it appears that when the rest of us save, they lose income.
When speaking with Amy Lynn Gonzales whose husband is employed in the oil field we found some insight as to how some families are effected by the dropping prices. "When I see people happy about low fuel prices it does make me upset because most people don't understand that the price of fuel is not good for the economy," she told us. "Most think it only affects families in the oil and gas industry but that is wrong.
"Gas prices have a huge effect on us because low gas prices mean oil and gas companies will stop producing due to the low profitability" Gonzales said. Though some of us might find savings it seems that families who depend on this commodity as a source of income have to make ends meat regardless.
It is easy to forget that due to the lower profits seen by the oil industry that jobs are on the line and some families will be forced to worry about the possibility of lay offs and a lack of income. "We experienced the layoffs in 2009 but they were short lived," Gonzales said. "The problems we are facing now don't seem to have an end in sight. It is expected to last a lot longer and it doesn't matter who or where you work, no one is safe right now."
Though it seems like something that might linger in the back of the minds of many the problem of lay offs is quite real as Gonzales told us "many companies have begun laying off thousands of employees."
The oil field has become a way of life for many people in the South Texas area. It has been embraced by families who depend upon it for the yearly income and now may find themselves in a tough spot if things continue to decline.
However through all of the ups and downs of the industry Gonzales is still thankful for the oil field and what it does for her family. "The money is great, and it has given us all that we need and then some."
"We never have to worry about living check to check or not being able to pay the bills, most people make enough to save for the rough patches," Gonzales said. "Our husbands have plenty of time off and vacation to spend with their families the only con is that it is not stable, you never know when the gas prices will drop and you'll be out of a job."
It seems that while some of us can find joy in the savings to our pocket books the families that depend on the oil field to support for their loved ones have a bit more on the line. It is something that perhaps we should keep in mind when we are at those gas pumps.