Is The Price Of Gasoline Out Of Control?



Gas prices on Long Island are surging. How high will the prices go? Image provided by Shutterstock.

It seems like every week the price of gasoline keeps getting more and more expensive. When will it finally plateau? Everyone is being affected by these soaring fuel prices—from high school students to the low and middle class, we are all not immune to these high fuel prices. Senior citizens living on fixed incomes seem to be hit the hardest by these sky-high prices to fuel their cars and heat their homes. 

Gas prices are out of control thanks to the rise in the price of crude oil, which accounts for 50-60% of the price of gasoline at the pump. OPEC’s decision not to increase production further exacerbates the uptick in soaring gasoline prices. Instead of increasing production post pandemic, they have decided to have a more slow-and-steady approach to replenishing the supply, which, unfortunately, equates to the astronomical prices we now have to pay at the pumps. It’s becoming too expensive and quite unaffordable to even drive our cars to school or to work. 

“I can barely afford to fill up my gas tank to drive back and forth to school”, said senior Tristan Petretti. “I work all week and half of my paycheck goes right into my gas tank.” 

Many people across the United States, and the world are having an issue with being able to afford to fill their gas tanks or heat their homes lately. The timing couldn’t be worse, as everyone is trying to recover from the havoc Covid wreaked on the world; and these astronomical fuel prices are just exacerbating the issue. Many people are finding that the overall cost of living has become very unaffordable. 

Fran Moran, a 78-year old says, “Everything has become so expensive lately. With supply chain bottlenecks at the ports, to food shortages and rising prices on the grocery store shelves, to rising gasoline prices, life has become very unaffordable.” Moran also states, “Living on a fixed income, I often worry when will all of this chaos finally plateau?” 

Moran is correct in her thought process. What is happening in the world right now is a dangerous combination of rising prices, supply chain shortages on a global level and falling purchasing power. If filling your gas tank up becomes completely unaffordable, you wind up not driving as often as you would so you can make up the difference. When you are spending so much of your money filling your car up with gas, you have to make that up by forgoing something else that you would otherwise normally buy. When everyday items cost more, we tend to spend less which is not very good for the economy. 

“I don’t have the luxury of ignoring the rising gas prices,” said John Albers, a father of three young children and a high school math teacher. “Commuting to my job in Nassau County on a daily basis has become very expensive as of late.”