If you’ve pulled up to the pump recently, you’ve undoubtedly muttered, “Wait. What?” when you saw the price per gallon.
Gas prices have been rising steadily for awhile. It was exacerbated earlier this year when a bunch of excitable people emptied out gas stations when a pipeline was hacked and shutdown and gas was supposed to become scarce (it didn’t).
Prices went back down a little, from $2.99 a gallon to $2.82, the lowest I’ve come across, though most settled in at $2.86. Now, they’re back up to $2.99 at most places. And since that’s actually $2.99 9/10, you might as well say $3 a gallon.
The reason for this, according to most experts, goes back to COVID, as most things do nowadays. The demand for gasoline plunged in 2020 as a lot of people stayed at home either because their work told them to or they wanted to avoid being around potentially sick people.
Because of this plunge, output of gasoline was slowed and now that everybody is venturing out again, production hasn’t caught back up. Some will always blame whoever holds the highest office for gas prices, but I’ve never thought the president affects gas prices.
For example, the price increases could have been stopped, but OPEC refused to increase output, saying they’ll do it in November.
The real question is when prices drop again, and they will, how low will they go? In my lifetime, I can remember gas prices drop to 97 cents a gallon back in 1999. Before that I seem to recall they had hovered between $1.10-$1.20. After 97 cents a gallon, when you could get a full tank for $18, they started to rise.
I remember when they first hit $1.35 a gallon, I thought that would be the end of driving. How could anyone afford to pay that much and not go broke? Now, of course, it’d be pure heaven to pay $1.35 a gallon.
It was the same way when it climbed to $2 a gallon. Ten dollars would only get you five gallons? Was that even legal? Getting $20 worth wouldn’t fill the tank? This has to be robbery of some kind.
As with $1.35 a gallon, most people today would give anything for $2 a gallon gas.
Will we feel that way about $3 a gallon gas someday? I suppose we could if gas one day hits $5 or $6 a gallon. But if/when it does hit that price, you’re going to be seeing a lot of empty highways.
There will eventually be a solution to gas prices, but it’s one that might happen after a lot of us are already gone. It’s electric cars. Most auto makers are making announcements they’re going to slowly move to producing nothing but electric cars and one giant oil company, I think Shell, announced they will start moving toward converting their stations to electric charging locations.
I know this charging thing won’t be provided for free, but it will be interesting to see how people are charged for it. Will you pay a certain amount for units of time. Something like $5 an hour? So three hours would cost you $15? Will be it be higher than that? Lower? It’ll undoubtedly make some people mad and some people happy.
And I know some people think electric cars will never be as nice as the gas powered muscle cars of the past. Maybe, though electric cars that are out today have been shown to reach speeds of 200 mph, though it’s doubtful that’s the kind you’ll be able to buy off a lot.
It’s comparing apples and oranges, but I have an electric weed eater and an electric lawn mower and I think it’s some of the best money I ever invested. They both do just as well as gas powered versions and you don’t end up smelling like a gas pump when you’re done.
But for now we need to worry about gas prices and how just a jump of even a few cents can ruin your day. The days of $20 filling the tank up are long gone, but it would be nice if it could give you more than half a tank.
Instead of barely moving it above the E.