Gas prices skyrocket in the United States

The increase in price causes chaos for everyday commuters across the country.

David Lane, news editor

Gas prices nationwide have skyrocketed this year, costing an unprecedented $3.39 per gallon. This sharp increase may affect how people plan for their road trips this year.
Since the beginning of 2021, gas prices have gone up by $1.24 since this time last year, according to the Energy Information Administration. The last time gas prices were above three dollars per gallon was in 2014 due heightened tensions in North Africa, as well as in the Middle-East.
“I personally don’t have to pay for my own gas because my mom pays for it, but it’s going to be harder to do things because she’ll have to pay a lot more money. It’s going to be harder for people to find things close by to do over Thanksgiving break if gas stays high,” said Tyler Stolfuss, a junior.
During periods of cheaper gas, people tend to take longer trips, rather than outright plan new ones. With the increased price of gas, road trip plans may become more bare-boned, due to an increased cost to fill up.
“The change in gas prices hasn’t affected me, personally, very much. I still drive to all the same places, but since I drive a truck, prices have made a significant impact on the amount I spend at the pump. It used to be 50 dollars to fill up my truck all the way, but now since gas prices have risen it’s closer to 60 or 70 dollars,” said Alexandra Miller, a junior.
US oil production has not fully recovered since the beginning of the pandemic, even though prices have surged. Despite this, US oil companies are in fact oversupplying the market in an effort to return cash to shareholders, who have lost millions of dollars during the pandemic, as well as a rise in alternative fuels over the last decade.
“I’ve lived long enough to know that gas prices always fluctuate. So, there’s times where all of a sudden there’s some sort of thing in the world that makes prices spike. But during these periods where prices spike, there’s still people driving around in their big old SUV’s and so on. Not to mention that there are also people who are driving electric cars now which is making the price of gas have less of an effect on how people who use cars get around,” said Jon Bernreuter, a physics teacher.
While gas prices have increased, the effect they have on travel varies greatly depending on income level, mode of transport, and even the distance of the destination.