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Paying More At the Pump

SS Member Image By drodriguez 06.02.08
Paying More At the Pump
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With summer just around the corner many of us will be packing bags, getting ready for a much-needed vacation. Whether it be a week away or even just a day at the beach, the price of gas will most likely enter your mind immediately as you begin to build a budget for your trip. With the soaring price of fuel these days, just getting to and from work or the grocery store may be putting a big dent in your monthly spending.

A recent article from CNN tries to answer the question of who or what is to blame for $4 a gallon gas this summer. Astonishingly enough, gas prices from 1999 were at around 90 cents a gallon. How did we get to more than 4 times that in such a short amount of time?

One of the biggest reasons for the higher prices is simply supply and demand. While we are finding and procuring less oil, we are using it more than ever. The reason we are using more now is partly due to the low prices from the 1990’s.

The gas taxes in the 90’s were very low in the U.S. as compared to other developed nations and this encouraged more consumption. It made it seem sensible for a small family to purchase vehicles like big trucks and SUV’s that need a lot more gas per mile than an average car.

Stephen Schork, publisher of the industry newsletter the Schork Report, explains, “Our demand has skyrocketed, but our ability to supply that demand has stagnated.”

To see a timeline of events that could explain the high gas prices we are faced with today you can go to:
http://money.cnn.com/2008/05/20/news/economy/gas_price_history/index.htm?postversion=2008052010

Why do you think gas prices have gone up so much in such a short period of time?

What kind of an impact will the cost of gas prices have on your summer plans this year?

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  • zionita By zionita
    09.19.08  

    I just don't get it...Other countries have smaller and more efficient cars. They don't just buy a big car because it's cool.

    A friend of mine bought a new Honda Civic last year and many of his family members and relatives ridiculed him that it is a small car. (Most of his family are driving big Ford trucks and Dodge Rams.) Well know he can fill up his tank and pay his payments without cying so much, while most of his family whine that they never have any money. They also whine about never having gas and hating to use the AC so much.

    Why is that many SUV owners & Hummer owners cruise around with just one person in the car? Not everyone has a large family. Why does everyone think that bigger us better?

    Why can't we have more solar products? People heat their pools by solar covers and some communities around here use solar lights at night. Why aren't there more Solar powered cars?

    Everytime a hurricane or tropical storm pass by Florida the price goes up... As hurricane Ike passed by ...many local stations were trying to limit people to $10.00 in gas. At $4.00 a gallon or more people could only by 2.5 gallons. How can anyone evacute out of low lying areas with 2.5 gallons?

  • chrissybee By chrissybee
    09.18.08  

    I live in Atlanta and GA has historically had one of the lowest state average gas prices. Now with the higher costs the prices at the pump have remained super inflated compared to everywhere else in the country. Somewhere in our state, someone is taking advantage of the situation and pocketing a much larger profit than the national average. Our gas prices are so high!

    I would like more sidewalks in our area.

    Ethanol isn't the answer as that actually costs more to produce and is already directely impacting the cost of our food supply since corn is in so many food products.

  • sjsmtlaurel By sjsmtlaurel
    09.10.08  

    There is a real need to become independent from foreign oil and to find alternatives. Big oil also needs to be held accountable. Why are their profits greater than they have ever been? We are all sacrificing things in order to be able to afford these gas prices and the oil companies are profiting. Disgraceful!!

  • tweety24311 By tweety24311
    08.21.08  

    I think it is ridiculous the way that the gas prices have sky rocketed in the past year. Unfortunatly, the middle and lower classes suffer for it. My husband has to drive over 60 miles one way to work everyday and it takes up a good portion of his check. That should be used for our children for college! I think its all a scam and a lot of people are getting rich off of it. I personally don't think it will ever change.

  • honeydrop1964 By honeydrop1964
    08.20.08  

    I have a close friend that recently lost her home. Its so sad. In the 1990s..she was living the good life. In 2004 she lost her well paying job to overseas..and now works 3 part time jobs, gets food stamps, and now borrowing money for gas to get to work. The prices of certain things all depend on who is in office in my opinion. Its the stock they own, their friends, etc. Remember when Carter was in office and peanut butter could only be purchased by the upper class? Six and eight dollars a jar in the 70s? Amazing he was a peanut farmer. I think gas prices will go back down, though never to 90 cents per gallon and something else will rise. People keep saying we need to be less dependent on foreign oil...but the fact is...scientist say there is approximately 100yrs of oil left. The US doesnt want to use what we have. They want to use up what we can get from others and save ours for the last. Makes sense to me. Also, they are pushing electric cars. Sounds like a great idea unless you think about the power grid in the US. There are constant blackouts in many states, because things havent been taken care of. Cant imagine what it would be like if we were all charging our cars along with all the electric we use now. Anyway...life goes on...

  • dollyo47 By dollyo47
    08.17.08  

    It never ceases to amaze me that whenever the price of oil per barrel goes up, gas stations immediately raise the price. But... when the price goes down, they don't lower the price until "they receive lower priced gas from their supplier".

    Something is wrong with this picture!!!!

    On another thought, one day I was waiting in line to get gas and the price was increased while I was sitting there waiting.

  • Gregamy By Gregamy
    08.14.08  

    I don't know if its an Urban Myth, but I heard a story from someone recently about a guy in the 1970's who bought a Cadillac and was shocked to notice that he got about 80 miles to the gallon!! He was so shocked he wrote to the car manufacturer to thank them and then 2 weeks later some people showed up at his house to take back the car. They said that it was a test car and should never have been sold to him. If this is true, then the car makers have had 30+ years at making an engine that gets more miles to the gallon, but why would they do that since they all probably own some stock in oil! Get the consumer to buy your car and keep filling it up with gas, what a great way to make money on both ends!

    We need a society that promotes more walking and biking with real trails and sidewalks (not these little strips on the sides of the road where a big truck comes down the road and almost hits you).

    We don't need to drill anywhere else, the oil companies have leases on land that they are NOT drilling on, they are using this as an excuse to get the government to give them new leases on other lands so they can make even more profit. PLEase explain to me how Exxon can put up a huge $12 million quarterly profit and say they are not making anymore money off of the increase in gas prices. Please think before you vote for McCain, do we want another Bush clone in office that is in the pocket of big oil?

  • mandyspeaking By mandyspeaking
    08.07.08  

    Gas prices are a result of supply and demand and speculation. We are using more gas now because of larger cars and more of them. More people in the workplace commuting, more people being able to afford cars, so the use of gas is an all time high. Speculators say that at the rate we are using gas now, we will run out of supply by a certain time. That is when the prices increase.

    As for Bush, I think it is so funny how everyone always wants to blame him. Repblicans have tried to bring change by asking for drilling on our own land, however our senate is controlled by democrats who keep turning down the idea. When things are good blame the president. But in our country the president has little power on his own. He can do anything with approval from the Senate...and look who that is.

    Before you vote for Obama just because you want a change, ask yourself how is he going to change things? What is his solution for lowering gas prices? He thinks we should just not drive as much. Well is that practical in your life?

  • henawa By henawa
    08.05.08  

    we need to become less reliant on foreign countries. We should look off of our own coasts and drill there, just like what venezuela did. and take it out of the hands of these big oil companies

  • firecracker By firecracker
    07.31.08  

    Gas prices are causing everyone to adjust the way they live, if it would last only for a short time it would actually be good for everyone to learn to conserve and to live on less. Unfortunately I think we are going to have to cut back for a long time!

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