Soaring gas prices have Californians and Texans racing for the border and braving drug cartel violence to save some $20 per tank filling up in Mexico. American pumps have passed the $4 mark, but Mexican gas is still just $2.66 a gallon thanks to subsidies intended for poor Mexicans. Americans are buying it up instead, triggering a 50% surge in sales—and Mexican gas shortages, reports the New York Times.
Two months ago Mexicans were coming north of the border for slightly more expensive but higher quality gas. Now, there are traffic jams southbound, even if the higher sulfur content of cheaper Mexican gas is worse for the air. “Everyone knows Mexican gas is watered down, but customers don’t care,” said a worker at a Texas Chevron station, where business is down 40%.