Cause of the Rise
Nobody likes paying for gas. As of recently, the gas prices have gone up significantly as well. Now more than ever it is more expensive to be driving around, but what about people who work or go to school?
First we should begin by explaining why the gas prices are high. One of the main causes for gas prices being so high is lack of investment from large businesses. Since 2008 there have been much less investment in oil drills because of the economic depression. Investors simply do not want to invest money into drilling oil because it can backfire on them.
This makes getting to jobs or even school more expensive for students and staff. Along with this, districts are also paying more as well, because it costs money to fuel school transportation like buses. Students who drive to school are having to pay more, and if students are working, they usually only have a minimum wage income in high school.
“I live 30 minutes away from here, and from DHS every day is putting a dent in my wallet,” economics and U.S history teacher Anthony Niemiec said.
This can cause students to have to spend more money on getting to their job or getting to school for a basic education. This problem occurs at DHS as well. Gas prices are around $3.84 in Midland, with the average 12 to 15 gallons per car. This totals out at nearly $54 for one full fill.
It’s not just staff that is affected by this as well. Students who are trying to get to school or their place of work are affected just as much. Students who have to drive to school daily can rack up quite the price after a while, forcing them to either balance a job and school, or find another solution to the problem.
Gas prices do not look to be getting any better, either. With the war between Russia and Ukraine, some of the gas that the U.S. used to have available is no longer in supply. About 8 percent of U.S. gas and oil comes from Russia, which while far less than European countries, is still impactful.
“Nobody knows what Russia is going to do,” Niemiec said. “Nobody knows what you’re going to do. Nobody knows what their allies are going to do. So the longer this war drags out, I believe that gas prices will stay relatively high until we continue importing Russian oil, which obviously we have stopped doing.
On a Steady Path
Car care and auto technology teacher Lance Ransom has been teaching at DHS for the last 14 years. In his time here, gas prices have fluctuated. When Ransom first started here at DHS gas prices were at their all time high, around $4.11. Although this does not affect the auto shop much, gas prices do still take a toll on Ransom.
“I don’t actually live in Midland, I live in Sheppard,” Ransom said. “So, I drive 35 minutes one way to get to school. So for me personally, it affects me because I have to get to work every day. So that’s why I drive vehicles that get these miles. Like my Ranger gets between 25 and 20 miles a gallon, because I’m driving here every day.”
As of Mar. 8, gas prices in the U.S. have set the new record for pricing at $4.17 per gallon average. This trumps the week of July 7, 2008, which had the price of $4.11 per gallon. The 2008 spike in gas prices was caused by a demand for crude oil across the world that could not be met. This led to an energy crisis and did not just affect the gas. Living in many ways was much more expensive, but gas soared up to $4.11 at the peak of the crisis in July 2008.
The recent dethroning of this record is worrisome to many people. The increase in price has swayed many people from taking long trips, and it may even affect the summer as well, making vacation trips less manageable financially.
But, there is still hope for better gas prices. The main reason that gas is so high right now has to do with the war in Ukraine and minimal investments, but gas prices will most likely lower back to normal, eventually. Until then, all car owners just have to hold on and manage.
Reduce the Use
Along with this advice, there are also a few technical ways to reduce the amount of gas used daily. For example, people who have a newer car naturally have a lower amount of gas used because they have a better mileage. A lesser known way to lower gas use is to make sure that the air in vehicle tires is at the recommended value.
“You have to remember that you have a minimum of four tires on a vehicle and there’s a lot of rotational mass there that you’re turning,” Ransom said. “And if it’s at a low pressure, there’s more surface area on the tire. There’s more drag on the vehicle.”
When exactly this gas price will lower we do not know for certain. Between lack of investment in oil companies and the invasion in Ukraine, gas may rise even higher, although at the end of the day prices will most likely decrease and life will hopefully return to normal.