Gas Keeps Soaring. How Are You Coping?

By Alan Stewart Carl | Related entries in Discuss, Gas

Four dollar a gallon gasoline has hit Alaska and Connecticut and the rest of us are not far behind. The national average is $3.787 and prices have gone up for ten consecutive days.

So, I’m curious, have you made any changes in your life to account for the rise in gas prices? If not, how high would gas prices have to reach before you made changes?


This entry was posted on Friday, May 16th, 2008 and is filed under Discuss, Gas. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

13 Responses to “Gas Keeps Soaring. How Are You Coping?”

  1. Noah Says:

    I am coping just fine, thanks. I didn’t start bicycling because of the gas prices. I started in 2006 when my car had a part fail that was going to take more than a month to get back in stock at the dealership. I will say that gas prices have been a part of keeping me on my bike these days, though.

  2. wj Says:

    As with any situation of serious inflation, the rational course is to but supplies earlier, rather than later. Which is to say, fill up that tank when it is half empty, rather than waiting until it is almost totally empty. It doesn’t make a major difference in the long term, of course.

    But it’s about the only thing available — in a region not designed for any other form of transport, car trips are a necessity for work or for groceries. If I’d been making long road trips just for fun these past few years, I might have something to cut out. But since I haven’t….

  3. Justin Gardner Says:

    Alan,

    Noah is a true biking warrior. Seriously. I think he commutes 50 miles a day on his bike with a group of three or four other people. Definitely a trail-blazer.

  4. BenG Says:

    ASC,

    I actually downsized the family vehicle a year ago to a midsize sedan that gets up to 30 mpg. Not much sacrifice there since its fun to drive, lots more pep than the guzzlin SUV, and almost double the mpg’s.

    This is one of those issues where we can talk about distinct differences btw the Repubs and Dems about past failures to deal with this chrisis, and who has the best plans going forward. But instead we’ll beat each other up over same sex marriage. And we wonder why we never get anything done!

    It’s obvious to me that this issue demands Gov. leadership that transcends liberal or conservative ideology. Have you seen the movie “Who Killed the Electric Car”? If so, do ya think its all liberal biased bull? I think it raised a lot of straight forward, factually based questions that I can’t believe we, as a society, won’t demand better answers for, no matter what your politics.

  5. Jim S Says:

    I live in a suburb and work in another suburb close by. It’s a 9 mile drive by regular roads. My wife is an adjunct instructor (academic semi-slave labor) at a community college only about 4 miles from the house, though she is applying for a full time instructors position that would triple that distance as much as she’d like to stay where she is. My next car will get better mileage than my current Taurus, which I plan on replacing next spring. Though I should look for another job there are parts of the KC metro area that are just too much of a drive to not consider the gas consumed.

  6. Alan Stewart Carl Says:

    Ben,

    I haven’t seen the movie but I do think there is probably enough blame (if you want to call it that) to go ’round. Of course, nothing spurs action and innovation like market forces. $4 gas is going to increase sales of fuel effecient cars and increase incentives for manufacturers to make even more effecient vehicles. For years, a lot of people have argued we needed to force innovation by either taxing the hell out of gas or focrcing auto manufacturers to conform to MPG requirements. Those plans had there drawbacks and, basically, we adopted a “just wait until the crap hits the fan” mentality. Now gas is high and it will be a scramble to get out from under the burden. But I trust that we will.

  7. Ryan Says:

    I’ve cut back entirely on unnecessary trips, walk to town, and will be buying a bicycle.

  8. Noah Says:

    JPG, It’s more like a 28-30 mile round trip every day (but it’s 50 when I want to take the long way home or have a bunch of errands to run and the bicycle works).

    Ultimately, close to half of the trips that people use cars for in the US are under 2 miles. Think about the places you go once you get home from work. I usually don’t stray too far from home, and when I didn’t have a bike, and even before gas was expensive, I didn’t stray far either. In populated areas with a lot of suburban sprawl, there are still places close to home that most people frequently go to.

    Even if I drove the 30 miles to and from work every day, walking or riding to my closer destinations (post office, bank, dentist, pharmacy, etc) would save quite a bit of gas.

  9. TransPartisan Babe Says:

    My day job involves driving on sales calls…so even though I live 2.5 miles from work, I often drive 30-50 miles a day. How have gas prices changed that? I do more appointments in fewer days…staying in the office 2-3 days each week and stacking appointments on other days. Even though I am reimbursed well for mileage, it is saving the company a few bucks. Also, when I do fill up, I make it one of my “stops” at the cheapest station in town. This usually involves waiting in line…and I used to go to another station instead of waiting. BTW, since my car runs on premium, I’ve been paying over $4 per gallon for several weeks. The joys of California…

    What else has changed is we don’t eat out as much. We live in an “urban” district where we walked to dinner 3-4 times each week. Now, we’re eating at home except for date night. I really feel for the restaurants…higher food prices and fewer customers. Yikes!

  10. Joshua Says:

    I commute between one end of La Crosse, WI and the other every day (about 5 miles) in a Dodge pickup. Fortunately I can run most of my daily/weekly errands without deviating much from my usual route home. But most of my fuel usage is over weekends when I drive up to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area where most of my loved ones are, and also where I do my heavy-duty shopping.

    In La Crosse the average regular gas price is $3.79. In the Cities it varies quite a bit, but generally stays about 5-10 cents cheaper than in La Crosse. However, I’ve noticed that it’s cheaper still in the towns in between, on Highway 61 along the Minnesota side of the Mississippi River. So, usually I do my filling up in Winona, Lake City or Red Wing.

    Other than that, the high prices have been little more than an irritant to me. That said, I’m pretty certain that my next new vehicle will not be another pickup truck.

  11. Justin Gardner Says:

    Hey everybody,

    Look for Noah to be talking more about this topic on Donklephant in the weeks and months to come.

    Also, I bike to the store and the gym from my house…at least as much as I can. I’d also bike to my local movie theatre, but there isn’t one close enough yet. But soon enough there will be in downtown Kansas City, and it’ll be grand! Can’t wait!

    One last note, I just saw a convoy of scooters today and I genuinely considered buying one to commute to and from work since it’s really not that far. However…the winters in KC can oftentimes be brutal. What do you think Noah…worth the investment?

  12. Michael Lewis Says:

    I am publishing research on how America became dependent on foreign energy, why we remain that way and proof their is a domestic solution:

    INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENT
    The United States agreed to transfer jobs and technology to developing countries under the Algiers Declaration in March of 1975:

    A major portion of the planned or new petrochemical complexes, oil refineries and fertilizer plants be built in the territories of OPEC Member Countries with the co-operation of industrialized nations for export purposes to the developed countries with guaranteed access for such products to the markets of these countries. [Read sections 10 and 11]
    FOREIGN TAX CREDITS
    In 1977 Representative Benjamin Rosenthal of New York produced secret Internal Revenue Service documents going back to 1950. They showed that the tax laws of Saudi Arabia were drafted with the help of Aramco to call the added price of oil not a “royalty” or “cost of doing business,” as was proper, but an income tax.” The Saudis did this knowing that income tax paid to a foreign country is deductible from the income taxes an oil company pays the United States on all income received in the United States by the parent firm. From Pgs. 61-64 The Media Monopoly by Ben H. Bagdikian 5th edition paperback color emphasis added

    “Since that time the major multinational U.S. oil companies have paid hardly a penny of U.S. income tax on their foreign income.” page130 BANKS. BORROWERS, AND THE ESTABLISHMENT

  13. Michael Lewis Says:

    Demand $2 a Gallon Gas

    Oil was $127 a barrel recently.

    Germany fueled WWII with synthetic fuel from coal. America, with 1/3rd of Earth’s coal, can be independent of foreign oil for an estimated $55 a barrel, including the infrastructure and labor force necessary to operate plants. It is proven technology.

    Synfuels are cleaner burning than gasoline and carbon sequestration can remove CO2.
    Visit http://governor.mt.gov/hottopics/faqsynthetic.asp

    Also, reducing our trade imbalance keeps jobs in America. Every billion of trade deficit costs 13,000 jobs. $400 billion for oil last year: do the math.

    And we stop sending billions to countries that sponsor terrorism.

    Harness your anger at the pump. Call you’re US Senators and demand they break ground on America’s energy independence by encouraging an American synthetic fuel industry in this decade. If you don’t raise your voice the oil companies, and politicians will assume you are ready to pay even more.

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