Taking a look at the gas pump prices this weekend has given me heart palpitations. The price is creeping (or jumping) close to $4 a gallon. FOUR DOLLARS! Just a few years ago gas was less than $2 a gallon and now the price has almost doubled.
As one who relies solely on driving a car to go about my day-to-day duties, these high prices for gas worry me deeply. Will the prices get so high that I will laugh when I tell my children that in my day gas was only $4 a gallon?
There are a lot of potential reasons why gas prices have skyrocketed. Some blame any wars the United States has been embroiled in within the last 10 years. Iran is the third largest oil exporter and a country that has serious conflict with the United States in recent years. A very good portion of the oil reserves are in countries with shaky stability and relationships with the United States, which could attribute to high oil prices. This conflict and high gas prices also has many voters blaming President Obama.
Others might blame the oil industry for selling the oil reserves for high prices. With the United States (and many other countries’) dependence on oil to function, this could cause serious problems.
So what can you do? Do you have to sit back and take it? Here are some things you can do:
- Get involved with politics. If you think that politics is the reason for the oil crisis, get involved, make your voice heard and strive to make a difference. With such a big problem like national oil reserves, it seems daunting and almost useless to get involved. But if no one acts, nothing will change. Get the most education that you can on the issues and hold our politicians accountable for their voting actions.
- Change how you drive. If you can’t change the oil prices, you can affect how you drive to get more bang for your oil buck. Your diving technique and habits can actually make your gas run out faster or last longer, depending on how you drive. First, don’t speed. Your car will actually burn off more gas if you go higher than 65 miles per hour. Any higher speed will make your car less efficient. Speed is also not your friend when driving off the line. Gunning your car and revving your engine will also diminish your fuel use. Life is not a race, take it nice and easy off the line. Another way to maximize your gas mileage is drafting. Drafting is when you follow closely behind a car to avoid wind resistance, which will slow you down. Unfortunately, drafting also has another name: tailgating. And that can get you a nice traffic ticket.
- Find alternative transportation. The easiest way not to car about gas prices is to walk or ride a bike. Both modes of transportation do not require any fuel. Unfortunately, you are severely limited on how far you can go.
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