SURVEY SAYS: What Are Fuel Costs Driving You To Do?

May 8, 2008 ( - I passed a gas station on the way to work on Monday where gas was over $4/gallon (no, I didn't buy any).

It’s a pocketbook issue that is surely hitting each and every one of us – either in the tank, or in the prices of the stuff that has to be shipped by things that have a tank – or perhaps even in the prices of the stuff that now goes into the tank besides gasoline (grain for ethanol).    This week I asked readers what they were doing about the rising price of fuel.

The most selected (note that I don’t say “popular”) option provided in this week’s survey was the 30% that said they were driving the same, but liking it less – outnumbering the combination of the 17% who were actually driving less, and the one in 10 who were driving differently.  

About 6% had been driven to another vehicle, about half that number had been driven to alternative forms of transportation, and just 1.7% had been driven to consider a change in jobs.

But then, nearly a third ( 32% ) chose “other” – and with good reason.   About half that group was really a “more than one of the above” choice – or, as one reader noted, “I can’t believe I can choose only one!”  Another said simply, “Most of the above!”

A number of readers were carpooling, and some hadn’t made any changes – having already taken advantage of public transportation, or telecommuting.   One reader said they were “driving less, and liking it a LOT more”, while another said they were “driving the same & not worrying about it” – going on to qualify that statement by saying, “…and, no, I’m not independently wealthy – I am a pension professional, after all”.  

Some folks had changed their approach, if not their driving habits.   One “Got a credit card with 10% rebate on gas purchases,” while another said they were now “filling the gas tank every time it goes under 3/4 of a tank and searching for who’s cheapest in our area.”  Another said that “Instead of filling up when the price is high, I just get $20 worth,” admitting that, “Of course, sometimes that doesn’t work in my favor.”

But this week’s Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said they were “Driving the same and enjoying it more. There’s less traffic on the roads making it far safer and far less stressful.”

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!

Driving the same. Cannot wait for gas to get to hit $5.00/gallon! Or even $10.00/gallon!
Not a "GD" thing different, I already drive a fuel efficient car and take public transportation to work..... while most other Americans buys SUV's and value a vehicle's fuel efficiency right behind their evaluation of the cup holders.
CARPOOLING and driving less
I'm actually doing a combo...I now take MARTA to the office. Plus, instead of driving my younger son to daycare in the mornings, I hook up the bike trailer and tow him up there on my bike (10 minutes by bike, 5 by car). If I am going to go to the gym, I also ride my bike to the gym (20 minute bike ride versus 10 minute car ride). I've found that with the short trips around the house, my bike with the trailer hooked up works pretty well, and I am seeing an impact on the fuel gauge. I've even considered buying a little scooter for getting to the MARTA station in the morning. I've not taken the plunge yet though.
driving less, and liking it a LOT more
I do a combo of things, I tried to plan my rtes in advance and hit as many places I can on one trip. Also, next week is bike to work honk if you see me!!
Going the extra two blocks out of my way to get to the less expensive gas station now.
With gas perhaps hitting $5.00 by the end of this year, I may consider taking public transportation. I am also considering cooking at home more during the weekend vs. dining out.
driving the same & not worrying about it (and, no, I'm not independently wealthy - I am a pension professional, after all).
Tapping into retirement savings; I'm counting on ERISA to help me sue somebody down the road.
A little of driving less, driving differently, not driving the van but the gas friendlier car, and taking the bus to work!
Weather permitting I ride a 50cc scooter. I may look funny but smile each time a gas guzzler guns it past me knowing I'm getting 60mpg and he's getting 15mpg.
Driving the same but going out of my way to buy discounted gas (Kroger)
Living in Chicago where police smell parking tickets faster than sharks smell blood in the water made keeping a car pretty unrealistic before all this gas price stuff. I rent cars now more for nostalgia
Driving same and enjoying it more. There's less traffic on the roads making it far safer and far less stressful.
Trying my best to drive less, but not being very successful. Even in a Prius the costs are getting out of control.
Bought a hybrid when it hit $2.25 -- nay-sayers said I would never break even because gas would have to hit $3.50. Who's nay-saying now? BTW -- I really do get over 50 MPGs.
Traded in our two guzzlers for one hybrid, learning how to negotiate one car
Filling the gas tank every time it goes under 3/4 of a tank and searching for who's cheapest in our area.
Driving a little less, and liking it a lot less. We purchased a new car (small SUV, 18/26 mpg) just before gas prices started soaring. Wonder every day why we just didn't wait a little longer and look a little harder for a more economical vehicle that gave us what we needed. Of course, we bought our house several years ago literally a month before the housing market started falling off.... so sounds like we are not ahead of the game.
I have usually taken trains to go the thirty miles to Chicago, or to go elsewhere, unless my destination is hard to reach from the railroad station. I am simply less apt to find destinations hard to reach.
No change. I've been expecting & preparing for this for a while. I've been taking public transit to work for over 15 years.
I have a V10 Excursion that I love driving but two years ago it was costing $500 - $600/month to drive so I went out and bought the environmentally friendly hybrid Escape that I do not enjoy driving nearly as much. The Escape takes me to and from work and around town and gets over 30 mph. When I bought it I planned to sell the Excursion but I can't bear to do so - I just enjoy it too much so when I travel the Excursion is the vehicle of choice and I am well aware I am spending more for the pure pleasure of being comfortable but I consider it well worth it. Two weeks ago I had a business trip where I chose to take the Excursion because we had nasty weather (tornado warnings, torrential down pours, etc.) and when I arrived I was harrassed about driving a gas guzzler. It gave me pleasure to counter the statement with the fact that I drive a hybrid most of the time - it was the most pleasure I have received from the hybrid in quite a while. I paid almost $50 to fill up the hybrid last night -- the Excursion costs about $150 to go the same distance. With zero percent financing I can drive the hybrid and buy the gas for it and I am about equal in my monthly output for transportation. With the 2 - 3,000 miles a year I am putting on the Excursion it will last forever. It is also great to drive when we have ice storms and folks around here think 4-wheel drive is 4-wheel stop. I do not drive less. I am very successful and am not willing to alter my lifestyle because fuel prices are high. However, when I am in a state with lower taxes I make sure I fill up before I come home - saved .20/cents gl one state south last week and .1/cents gal one state west last week.
Instead of filling up when the price is high, I just get $20 worth. Of course, sometimes that doesn't work in my favor. I also watch the price by barrel, and if they say the price is going up (yet again) I try to fill up before it hits the pump. I probably am driving a little less and taking public transportation more often to work, but it's not significant.
I can't believe I can choose only one! My husband and I are driving new, more fuel efficient vehicles. He's driving less now that he convinced his employer that he can work from home full-time just as easily as working from the corporate offices that are 90 miles away. His savings on gas alone makes up most of our car payments. I'm driving the same 25 miles a day to work and get heartburn everytime I gas up the car.
I take public transportation to work. So my driving patterns have not changed.
Changed to different office of same company and moved last summer to cut commute mileage by 75% from 60 miles/day to 15 miles/day. "Recreational" driving not changed but liking it less and less as gas prices increase based on greedy futures speculation rather than current availability of oil.
None of the above. I work at home providing services by telephone and over the internet. The impact of the increases in the price of gas is negligible.
I began driving differently (as in less, slower) when gas went over $2 per gallon.
stopped driving to work altogether and I'm taking mass transit. takes longer but I can work, sleep, read and when I'm stuck in traffic someone else is doing the driving
I parked the Yukon in the driveway and bought a used Honda Civic. The money I save on gas is making the car payment.
Minimum driving - still driving to work and liking it a LOT less
driving the same, but constantly complaining
Most of the above! And carpooling more!
Driving the same, period. We're still a capitalist society. Capitalism has provided the lifestyle we all enjoy - we have to accept the bad with the good.
Moving closert to work
I now carpool at least three days a week. I tried riding the bus last summer, but Indianapolis either doesn't want me to ride the bus (the nearest stop was more than a mile away from where I lived and was not accessible by crosswalks) or wanted me to be murdered (the only route I could find sent me through the most dangerous neighborhood in the city. When I do go somewhere, I usually use my girlfriend's hybrid car. If I absolutely have to drive my truck, I just grit my teeth and pay up.
I made the change in jobs due to the cost of gas 50 cents ago. I was driving an hour to work but now it's only a five minute commute. I took a paycut but it looks like the savings in gas will negate that loss.
moving to a new job location and buying a house much closer to work
trying to educate people that fuel should have always been this high and that was the real problem; everyone wants to pretend that this was somehow unexpected, you cant fight intentional anti-intellecutualism.
One that is closer to home, with working at home top of the list.
My driving hasn't changed because my life needs haven't changed, but I do like it less. The change I've made is to carefully consider the other spending I have and cutting back on those things that I don't really need.
I am driving less and trying to not have as much of a lead foot...
Planning trips more carefully so I'm not doubling back or making two trips in the same direction. The drive to work is my major problem and I can't do anything about that. But I have found that driving slower cuts down on consumption, but the temptation to keep up with the other rats in this race is hard to fight!
My husband and I have started commuting on the days we can. Timing is an issue. We have to make sure we do not have afternoon meetings or other appointments. I enjoy driving with him. However, my gas bill has become a nightmare. I guess we should have stayed in the type of neighborhoods our grandparents had where you could walk to where you wanted to go and the bus stop was at the corner of the street to take you where you could not walk. I do not think this is a good solution for most of us now.
I have an 80 mile roundtrip to work everyday. There is no public transportation yet, although a commuter rail station should be open by 2009 that would take away all but about 4 miles of that. Until then, I'm stuck paying the oil sheiks and the commodity traders in order to go to work. Am I bitter --- you bet your --- I am!!
Carpooling!! (Which is not very normal in central Illinois)
I am now driving my Flintstones-style vehicle
Live in NYC. I don't own a car. And thank God.
Driving slower. i.e. the speed limit.
Driving less; driving a different,more fuel efficient vehicle; driven to consider a change in jobs, though I'm not sure the price of gas is the primary "driver" on that one.
Driving less, until I need something then cringing everytime my gas gauge drops just a little closer to empty.
Got a credit card with 10% rebate on gas purchases. After 60 days, it drops to 5%, but right now, that's a $0.36 off on every gallon.
I figure the price of gas will be good for my figure as I will be walking to work some days this summer.
I quit using the driven-thru when I found myself cursing those ahead of me for wasting my gas, instead of my time.
We have 4 vehicles. We did buy a small pick up truck for my husband and parked the big truck for on an as needed basis. We got rid of the cleaning lady because her fee was equal to a tank of gas. I have always combined running errands with trips to and from work, so can't change there. I do grumble about the price of gas more because it seems like no matter what vehicle I drive, I get stuck with the one that needs gas. I keep telling my teen driver to get a job to help. It hasn't worked yet.
So far, I am driving the same. The increase in prices hasn't impacted me as much because both my husband and I changed jobs several months ago and our commutes have been cut in half. If I was still working at my old job, I would have had to look into carpooling or looking for another job.
I car pool to work with one other person, but he went out and bought a motorcycle for the summer, so I am actually driving MORE, as I won't come in on the back of his bike! (I'm a woman, BTW, and the thought of being on the back scares me, FWIW.)
Driving differently AND liking it less and less each day. I find myself getty crabby every time I see the gas price amount. Especially when it keeps going up.
I have an SUV that I tried trading in for a more fuel efficient car but its been difficult to get a dealership to take it as a trade. So, unfortunately I have to continue to drive the same gas guzzling vehicle. The kicker is that my husband and I both work for the same company but we have different hours because of the kids, so we both drive in to the same place every day!! So much for car pooling! My bicycle is starting to look like a possible alternate form of transportation...

Clearly the issue is of bipartisan concern, since the three remaining major U.S. presidential candidates have all weighed in on the issue with potential solutions.   I asked readers which one of the plan(s) they preferred.

Among this week's respondents, a quarter liked the idea of a windfall profits tax on oil companies, while 18.6% said they backed a summer "holiday" on the federal gasoline tax paid for a "windfall" profits tax on oil companies (though one reader added the proviso, "as long as they cannot pass the cost on to us, the consumers" ).   A mere 6.1% backed the summer "holiday" as a stand-alone solution.  

That means, of course, that the rest - nearly half - opted for "other."   Other, in this case, being an interesting and diverse collection of responses.   Many saw the solutions as nothing more than political pandering, others saw them (all) as doing nothing to lower prices - and most said they would increase, not decrease prices.   

Some were REALLY down on the oil companies, calling out for much more oversight and restrictions (including regulating them like a utility, though given my utility bills, I'm not sure that's a solution, either) - and some were in favor of letting the free market work.   Even there, the notions of what a working market would mean varied, running the gamut from more support for alternative sources of energy….to a call to consider more domestic drilling, and the opening of ANWR.   However, more than one cited that the place that really needed limits - - - was on the speculators who were driving the price to such heights.

The holiday is a joke and a windfall profits tax will not work. We need to adopt a realistic energy policy that lessens our need for imported oil, or oil period.
We need a dynamic new energy policy. Your options above are political bandages. The answer is a balance of developing new energy alternatives along with expanding all existing fuel sources, with less government regulation. Unfortunately, there is no one in Washington with the political guts to move this policy forward.
Both sides argue about reducing prices, how much savings there would really be for a "holiday", etc. but I don't ever hear the media, who should be responsible for such things, objecting to this SCAM and raising the point that we should be talking about REDUCING CONSUMPTION. We should RAISE the gas tax to $1.00/gal and use the money for research.
None - don't like the pandering
A requirement that a large percentage of government (federal, state and local) automobiles operate on alternative fuel sources.
I wish for a president who understands Economics 101
Let's build more refineries...eliminate "summer blend" gas...and have just ONE formula to use for the entire nation...also, let's start drilling in ANWR.
Force oil companies with 'windfall' profits to invest a significant amount of such into meaningful exploration for new reserves.
Elimination of OPEC
Alternative forms of gas.
expanded oil/gas development allowed and additional refineries built.
I'm starting to feel that this only really an issue because we're in the middle of the presidential debates. And we're nationally more excited to debate about the issue than to actually find a viable solution.
viable long-term energy and economy solutions and less government funded incentives for oil companies
if it takes higher cost to make people move to conservation, let it be so. Maybe the SUV's will get parked and the goods transportion will move to train.
I live in an area with limited public transportation and citizens that drive long distances. Vanpooling has really taken off lately but I think we need to develop a better public transporation system. And then convince all the independent cowboy types to get on board.
Drive vehicles that run on water
Let the market work it's "magic" - since this does not appear to be another short term phenomenon, over time people will change their behavior and make different lifestyle choices to mitigate the impact of this price increase. Automobile manufacturers will change their product mix accordingly. And once that's all under way, government officials will begin to legislate those very same changes.
regulating the gas companies, like utilities companies
Instead of a "fuel tax exemption", perhaps the candidates will consider an exemption on early withdrawal from retirement accounts to cover fuel costs.
I don't favor many solutions from a politician! How about - ride your bike, walk, skateboard, use public transportation. It may hurt your pride, but, if used consistatnly, can help your wallet, your wasteline, and, for those who are into global warming, the environment. And, one last comment before I get off the soap box, using food for in place of oil is wrong! Nevermind us (comparitively) wealthy Americans having to pay higher prices for food (besides, couldn't we afford to eat less anyway?), what about those who are truly starving and unable to afford food? I'll now step down.
None of the above
a summer holiday from political ads. Whoever promises to not barrage me with idiotic ads wins my vote. In actuarial speak Least Ads = Most Likely Voted
The government should stay out of the way and let the market place determine who survives and who doesn't. Failure and hardship spur human creativity in resolving the issues at hand.
I think that any of the three choices will only lead to higher gas prices in the long run. We need to explore alternative fuel options.
Let suppy and demand work the way it's supposed to work...interventions don't work. We're finally getting serious about alternative fuels and that wouldn't be happening if gas prices were kept artifically low.
higher efficiency standards for cars
A cap on how high gas can be raised to over the summer. e.g., no more than $4.50 per gallon or the gas companies incur the cost.
Further incentives for auto cos. to manufacture fuel-efficient cars.
A "Manhattan Project"-type initiative to implement a broad array of techniques, technologies & strategies to move the US toward full use of sustainably produced energy. I agree with Obama - the "summer holiday" is a political gimmick that will do nothing to solve this problem.
Let's build some nuclear power plants and drill for oil on our own lands. Encourage car pooling - employers don't really support carpooling as much as they could. Carpooling can be cost effective, good for the environment and easy - set up internet sites where folks can match where they need to go with others who go the same place.
Better tax incentives for carpooling!!
Higher gas prices, while annoying, do encourage people to do what they should be doing anyway--driving smaller cars, walking/biking/using public transportation to get to work, living closer to work. The need for saner energy policies become a lot clearer this way!
We don't need political gimmicks. Let the free markets work.
For the federal government to regulate the industry and force the prices back down to "semi" affordable!!!!!!!!!!!
Gosh, I honestly don't think it matters. It seems like it's a situation of "robbing Peter to pay Paul".
At this point, what is $0.184/gallon? Our roads are already in a state of disrepair; tires and alignment cost money too. Besides, the oil companies would find a way to hide their "windfall" profits. Need national standardization of gasoline grades to cut production costs. Need to "tempt" oil companies to build new and more efficient refineries. Oil prices are overly influenced by trading greed, e.g. Enronesque.
Major federal investment and incentives to get us past the use of fossil fuels.
More interested in a long-term solution. Would like to see greater support for development of electric vehicles. End of Oil should be mandatory reading.
Use the windfall profits tax imposed on oil companies to fund immediate and meaningful research on viable alternative sources of energy. Harness the tides!
I want the price of gasoline to be $1.00 or less per gallon forever...but then again I haven't had any coffee this morning.
Increased governmental pressure on automakers and consumers that provide incentives to manufacture and purchase energy efficient cars.
Dig into the real problems
I favor a higher tax that will help drive conservation and increase efforts to find alternatives to oil. Part of the higher tax should be poured into mass transit projects like commuter rail, buses, etc.
How about allowing more domestic drilling and refinaries? The other solutions are short term bandaids. I want a long term solution and so far all the "green" alternatives still cost significantly more than oil.
Have silly tree hugging liberals actually get out of the way and eliminate putting food in gasoline and eliminate most of the different blends of gasoline making existing refineries inefficient. At the same time understand conservatives don't have plans to give Earth a fever to steal a phrase from Algore. Since we're acting like oil is so bad for the Earth I suggest we get as much of it out of the Earth as soon as possible and burn it as fast as possible. It is wrong to leave that toxic posion within the planet we still need.
Probably a windfall profits tax on oil companies would help, but they would no doubt find a way to deplete the profits and avoid the tax by giving key executives higher compensation packages.
Exploration for additional domestic oil and more aggressive pursuit of alternate energy sources - nuclear, solar, wind, hydro.
I like the summer holiday paid for by profits tax on oil companies - as longs as they cannot pass the cost on to us the consumers
Direct investment to alternatives
Regulation of the oil a government whose leaders DO NOT OWN shares in the companies!!!
Higher gas taxes to incent the public to drive even LESS and drive the price of oil back down. That's what happened in the 70's, and cars became more efficient and people found ways to use less. We don't need the government subsidizing careless use of resources. Besides - a 3 month "holiday" will only provide a temporary fix. "Windfall" profits are a silly concept. Oil companies have a right to make profits - if I get a raise, I wouldn't accept a windfall tax on my additional income (though I may step up to another tax bracket). No one is calling for a windfall profits tax on gold companies, and gold prices have tripled in the last year.
just decrease the prices for pete's sake!
I like Hillary's idea--remove the tax but make the oil companies pay it for the consumer.
More development of alternate sources of energy -- BESIDES biofuels. We're going to need them eventually. A gas tax holiday is simply nonsensical.
Windfall tax on oil companies and use that money to pay the best scientific minds out there to create an engine that runs on a renewable source so we lose our dependance on foreign oil (mostly produced in terrorist sponsored states).
I am sure part of the solutipn is a mixture of ideas that I am not bright enough to verbalize much less advocate.
Allowing drilling in Anwar and coastal areas, development of new nuclear plants to produce electricity for electric cars and to replace oil and gas fired plants
Absolutely no holiday! It will only increase consumption which will drive prices higher.
Breaking up the monopolistic oil companies and bringing real competition in oil and refining
I favor going back in time and not calling Jimmy Carter a coward; I favor a less stupid population.
I am hoping in the future that this country will do more to promote and build mass transit.
STOP the speculators who are driving up the prices. FED should hike the rates.
A permanent federal gas tax solution.
Let gas prices sky rocket and therefore force us to greener solutions. Free Markets and Capitalism will work, if given time.
allow our oil companies to drill more in our own country while working towards alternative fuels becuase it will take some time until we are off or reduced oil dependence.
The "windfall" sounds good. If the oil companies can afford to pay outrageous bonus' to their already over-paid executives, they SHOULD have to pay it back!
A lie is a lie is a lie......
FRankly I don't think that any of them would work. No matter what, the oil companies own this country, so they will find ways to keep the price up -- I find it amusing when they "predict" that the price of gas will go up by $X by a particular date. Oh, for the days when government actually broke up pricing conspiracies.
Let this run its course.
This is irresponsible pandering. Are we finally dropping all pretense of a free market? I'd love to take it out on the oil companies but let's be fair and consistent, not reactionary. If you're going to do it, write a blanket law that charges ALL energy companies for windfalls (including natural gas and coal). And duh, lower prices for a somewhat inelastic commodity will increase demand and erode the discount.
Here's a thought, let's have them ONLY make millions in profit instead of BILLIONS!!
Cut back on consumption.
Please, for the love of everything that is holy, Washington stay away from gas prices.
Federally funded alternative energy program with incentive's for the private sector to participate in the R&D.
Alternative fuel choice.
Hmmmm, maybe we could develop alternative fuels and not be held hostage by the middle east.
A 50% penalty tax on the "gross" earnings of senior management of oil companies and oil futures traders.
The "holiday" on the federal gas tax is either another stunning example of politicians' complete ingorance of the most basic principles of economics or (more cynically) an unstunning example their choice to ignore completely economics as they pander to voters. The federal gasoline tax is a perfectly sensible way to get the users of a publicly-provided service actually pay for it directly. Taxing windfall profits is a great way to discourage oil companies from exploring for more oil, the remainder of which is likely to be a lot more expensive to extract.
It should be both summer "holiday" on the federal gasoline tax AND a "windfall" profits tax on oil companies. The oil companies are smiling all the way to the bank!
Would prefer to see increased incentives (and pressure) to produce more fuel efficient vehicles, incentives for consumers to purchase same.
How about we investigate the oil companies. They "have" to raise prices because of the increasing cost of the barrell.....yet they keep having record years...I'm I the only one who see's the issue?
A summer "holiday of the federal gas tax and the government stepping in and putting a cap on what these BIG oil companies can charge the consumers. It has gotten way out of control when you see people on the news choosing to buy gas or buy food. The economy right now is out of control!
I need to look into this further but a windfall tax on the oil companies, wouldn't that just be passed back to the consumer in the end?
Continued regulatory pressure for higher efficiency vehicles and alternate fuel sources
NYS senator Schumer pitched an idea recently calling for a halt of arms sales to Saudia Arabia until they increase oil production. I'm all for that. The "holiday" on the gas tax, while it would bring down the price of gas, would only hurt us in the long run--after all, Uncle Sam will have to recoup those lost revenues from some other means.
How about defining the root cause of the situation and recommending a solution that addresses the root cause.
A much wiser man than I once told me to remember that short-sighted solutions have short-term results and short-term results have long-term consequences.
I think we need to do something other than just a "holiday" from the gasoline tax. This will only help us during the summer. Also, if we put a profits tax on the oil companies, won't they just raise the prices even more? We keep talking about reducing our reliance on oil, but we keep making bigger and bigger vehicles. What happened to alternative fuels?
Do I seem angry?
I think this is a good idea for all utility and post office vehicles, too.
We need a permanent solution and we need to get over our dependence on foreign oil. Unfortunately, too many Americans are selfish and they aren't willing to give up their SUVs and pick-up trucks. In Europe, where they have been paying more than the equivalent of $5 per gallon for quite awhile, they mostly drive small, fuel-efficient automobiles. Europe also has a much better public transportation system than the U.S. Why don't we have AmTrak countrywide, or how about a high speed train system for cross-country travel and commuter trains in areas where commuting is the norm - this is especially lacking on the west coast.
I drive an SUV and it is paid off. Let's say that I spend $200 on gas a month. If I switched to a vehicle that got twice as many miles to the gallon, I would only be saving $100 a month in gas. Factor in the increased insurance costs and maybe I would save $75 a month net. Where can I buy a car with only a $75 monthly car payment? Right now, I am better off staying with my SUV that gets 17.2 mpg. At least my insurance costs will go down over time.
Top priority for the new office location was within walking distance from home. I enjoy my "commute" more and more each year, and the car has become increasingly irrelevant. Very nice.
We're getting my husband's mom a gas station gift card as part of her Mother's day gift. Driving has actually become a luxury and nothing says love like a spa treatment AND being able to get there.
Buying votes by cutting taxes just ends up costing more over time.
I bought a hybrid last year and took a lot of guff from the accountant types that it would never "pay for itself." I bought it used, got a fair price for it and paid cash, so I wasn't concerned. I wonder if they have taken another look at their numbers this year?
As long as we continue to pay $10.00 a gallon for bottled water and cars are idling in line at Starbucks, I don't think the oil companies are going to take our cries of outrageous gas prices too seriously. We haven't blinked yet!!
Cities across this country should consider expanding on subways and other means of public transportation that is reliable and on-time. Countries like Hong Kong, etc. have a very efficient means of transportation.
It would be nice to pay LESS at the pump, but we will undoubtedly pay MORE someplace else to make up for it. $.184 per gallon is not a lot for some semblance of maintaining our roads.
The gas tax holiday is just a political gimmick. It will hurt road construction in the long run.
The government should stay out of the way of business failure and successes. Their role is to promote safety, freedom, and encourage greater quality of life for all people. Good first steps would be to do something and quit talking about it. Our government should support research and development of new alternative fuel sources.
My daughter moved to NYC last year and left her small economy car with us. We decided to keep her car rather than sell it. It gets twice the gas mileage as my large SUV, so I have been driving her car for the past 8 months.
Between the cost of filling the tank and the associated rising costs of groceries, I may soon need to take out a loan just to feed my two boys who apparently have no end to their appetites! On a more serious note, I actually hope that the high price of gasoline causes Americans to become more aware of and active in energy conservation. In addition, the U.S. simply MUST find a way to replace our dependence on foreign oil with renewable, cleaner energy sources such as hydro, solar, and wind.
I am poring over all of the data on the 2009 diesel fueled vehicles that are rumored to be coming to market (lesser of the evils?), along with hybrids. Time to turn in the gas guzzler (20 mpg average) and seek a more efficient mode of transportation. Beam me up, Scotty!
The good news is the high price of fuel is finally driving long overdue research into viable alternatives for producing energy.
If you are still driving a 7 passenger SUV, any type of minivan, or a pick-up truck to work everyday, alone, while NOT hauling anything, then you are a part of a much bigger problem in the American consumerism issue and you deserve the pocketbook shortfalls that you are experiencing. The beauty of capitalism is that purchasing power reigns supreme (IMHO) -- what kind of message are you sending to manufacturers with your purchases? Stop whining and make better decisions.
Gas went up becaue of Katrina and never came down. It went up for Rita and never came down. Everytime there is any kind of threat--real or not--of a possibility of higher oil costs, gas prices go up and never come down. The gasoline industry uses any excuse it can. Honesty might be a good policy to try.
Glad I don't drive a Hummer.
Just doing our part to save money by being less materialistic and more economical. Also - using our tax refund and our economic stimulous check as suggested by doing some remodeling projects on the house.
The American public & their politicians have been asleep at the wheel (pardon the pun). Anyone with any interest in this topic could see this coming years ago. We are now on the receiving end of the stick that hits those who fail to plan ahead.
More investment in solar technology and nuclear power. Ethanol is not the answer. i heard on the History Channel that if all corn currently grown in the US was diverted to ethanol production it would replace less than 20% of our demand for fuel.
Ditto on the above!!!!!!!
The gas tax holiday proposal reminds me of the stripper with the flashing lights in "Gypsy" singing "you've got to have a gimmick". How low can you go?
Windfall taxes only result in less oil and gas being found. The word windfall implies that the oil companies did nothing to deserve the profits they have earned. Given the difficulty in finding oil, cost of getting it out of the ground, processing it and getting it to market, I do not believe windfall applies.
At the same time prices on everything are going up, my employer decided to add to my misery by more than tripling the amount I pay for health insurance. Is it any wonder I selected g?
We just need to consume less gas, either by changing how we drive and doing less driving overall. Only then will the price come down.
I don't believe that a summer holiday on the federal gasoline tax will do much of anything to relieve the problem, nor do I think it's appropriate for the government to start imposing windfall profit tax on any company.
My understanding is that these solutions really won't see any change for the consumer at the pump. If that's really true - what's the point? I think the issues are deeper. My understanding is that the price of a barrel of oil has risen from about $60 just a year ago to over $120 at current day. Sounds more like there are other issues to be addressed.
First, I would like to note that oil is a natural product, it is what we do to it that makes un-natural. So called 'bio-fuels' are as un-natural as processed oil. This is not a new issue and it is not going to be solved in a short amount of time. We have growing demand for fuel worldwide, only with long term solutions do we have a hope for our children's future. We have been making domestic production of oil almost impossible for years and now we want to fix the problem overnight. We are reaping what we sowed.
Drill for our own oil, eliminate the goofy legislative burdens that make building new refineries unprofitable and dot the map with a few nuclear power plants. If we want to try our hand at the still currently inefficient alternative power sources I've heard the strongest winds blow from Washington DC directly into the countries private savings accounts. If we can harness that China doesn't have a prayer.
Like most things of this nature, we do not address the "root" cause of the problem (similar to retirement planning). With the scientific brain-trust we have in the world, I can't help but believe that with the right incentives (or disincentives perhaps in the case of the auto manufactures and oil companies), we could develop cheaper alternative fuels, or more efficient transportation.
Don't see how a windfall tax helps any. It will just get passed on to the consumers. What might help {at least how I feel} is a legal and firm cap on their CEOs' salaries.
The summer holiday is ridiculous as it saves the average american less than $10/mo. during the summer - just an election year ploy. Our politicians need to get real about the issue and put policy in place that actually addresses the problem.
Government has got to step in and take a stand on such outrageous prices especially in the prescription drug area and fuels for driving and heating.
It is just my husband and I, and we make a decent living, but even so we are feeling the effects of the high gas prices. I think it must be particulary hard on younger couples with children who perhaps don't have as much discretionary income and have to chauffeur their children to different activities.
Goverment leaders are so out of touch with the issue since most of their trips arranged for them or paid by our taxes.
invaded Iraq and now the price of gas is beyond affordability
Thank you, shrub, for helping make this the great country it is today. Good thing you're leaving; I can't spend that much more time on my knees.
Why is that politicians think that giving me a $2.00 savings, on average, per tank of gas is going to solve this problem??? The cost of a barrel of oil has doubled. Gas prices have gone up over $1.00 in the last five years. That's an inflation rate of roughly 20%. In addition, costs associated with almost everything else we must purchase (groceries for example) are rising because companies must pass on their increased fuel costs to consumers. In the meantime, my annual salary increase didn't even keep up with the average rate of inflation. And in the news, I get to hear about the double digit profit increases being experienced by every major oil company. I feel rather kerflumoxed. I guess this is why health costs are rising so rapidly as well. If you have a product people must buy, you get to over-charge them for it. Maybe the politicians should get a brain. I'm sure Dorothy could get them to the Wizard. They certainly aren't here in reality.
We have become too comfortable with relatively low gasoline prices as compared to other countries in the world and especially as compared to our level of consumption as compared to the rest of the world.
My husband is a geologist so we disagree on the avarice level of the oil copanies. I think they are priates and he says the high prices are needed to do research and locate new deposits. I can see his point to a degree but the top executives seem to be the ones reaping the profits.
Federal subsidies for ethanol are driving up the price of food around the world and should be eliminated
Now it actually makes sense to buy a car using premium gas. Ten cents a gallon higher than mid grade really isn't that much now that gas is $4. It was a lot different when gas was $2/gallon. 🙂
The oil companies have passively colluded to shut down and not build refineries over the past 30 years so they can effectively control the supply of gasoline. There are also fewer oil companies than there were when the Standard Oil monopoly was broken up.
Yes, there are many solutions for energy, now of which involve stealing the world's food or diminishing our eco systems. Unlikely, people just prefer to believe that "we did all we could".
The increase in gas prices has me watching where and how I drive. I no longer "romp" on the gas when pulling out at a light or stop sign I take my time like there is an egg under the pedal. It saves some gas in the long run but every little bit helps. Most of my weekly driving to work is city driving with stop and go traffic so that kills the tank rather quickly. I also consolidate trips, I make it worth my while when I have to run places and I no longer just get in the car and go just because.
I have deliberately started driving slower to make my gallons stretch just a little bit farther. I now laugh at those who whiz past me on the highway, chugging through their gasoline like it's water. It's their dime...
I live in a Detroit suburb so this is a very touchy issue here especially. My husband shopped for his car mostly based on gas mileage and the US automakers couldn't come close. His Volkswagon Jetta runs on diesal and gets 50+ mpg. It also tells him the mileage that he is getting and that I think helps him get the mileage he does. I drive better because of watching his mileage meter. I think putting this in every car would help cut back on gas usage for everyone if they really saw how their aggressive driving hurt their fuel economy.
The answer, as we all know, is to reduce our need for fossil fuels. Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power need to be developed. There are large tracts of uninhabited land in this country on which power collection areas could be built without the objection of local residents (since there are no local residents). With the government as the builder, all our unemployed could find work. (Sounds like the Roosevelt New Deal? It should. We need a new TVA, covering several states, probably mostly out west.) Oh, and while they're at it, why not use the rest of the unemployed who can't move to the west to fix up the interstate highways, and other roads and bridges. Better roads mean easier driving and less gas usage per mile.
I'm lightening up on the gas petal and the brake petal and watching some others spend their expensive gas by driving foolishly.
Reduce the amount of leverage that hedge funds can use, they are creating a vicious pattern of increases in commodities.
We need to develop economically feasible hydrogen powered engines. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. Also, the government should promote tele-commuting.
Soon we won't be able to afford to go to work! It will be smarter to stay at home and work on a vegetable garden... that way we save gas and grocery money!
The Gas Moguls have lobbied against alternative fuels for years so they could keep getting their outrageous salaries and bonus'. The people should have exerted their power long before this, but since we didn't, let's do it now. Power to the People!
I drive almost 100 miles round trip to work every day. I've worked here for 9 years, and may have to leave because I can take a job in my home town that pays about $4k less annually, but I would come out almost $1k ahead in what I would save on gas!
I don't believe the present administration sees the $4.00 oil price as bad. Focusing on any one approach is not the answer. We need to consider a menu of responses to this problem but taking products used to make food and making them fuel...not so sure about that one especially when most reports indicate it isn't a winning strategy. If the focus on corn based bio fuel is another form of "pork", it's definitely not the way to go. I am exhausted by all the special interests. How about the interests of the majority?
I understand the politicians need to comment on this issue since it is effecting so many Americans but at the same time I believe in capitalism and unless there is monopoly happening in oil (which I don't believe there is) I am not a fan of the government always wanting to step in during issues like this. If we as American's want to see gas prices fall we need to adjust our life styles. It is simple as Econ 101: supply and demand.
I live a few blocks from the cheapest gas station in town (Gulf on Route 46 in Clifton, NJ) in a state with low gas taxes and low transportation costs (yay for northern New Jersey) but it's no less fun. By my "Main Street" observation, the drop in demand due to high prices seems very real: according to my usual attendant, the station owner cut back employees' hours and has fewer people working at once, because fewer customers are buying gas. At a friend's gas station, he said, some attendants have been laid off entirely.
The whole issue is really getting old.
We are paying extremely high prices at the pumps and the oil companies are posting record profits. What else is there to say?
We've changed our vacation plans from a place requiring an 8-10 hour trip to a 3 hour one.
I feel that this is a contrived escalation brought on by oil companies in cahots with the administration.
Thank heavens the bus company in Minneapolis negotiated the cost of fuel on a five year contract at $2.50/gallon! At least the cost of a bus pass should remain the same for awhile.
I said a couple of years ago that I would like to see gasoline prices at $5 a gallon, even though it would probably enrich the greediest of the greedy. I still believe that is the only way we will wean ourselves from oil products as the primary energy source for transportation (and other products) in this country.
Painful as higher gas prices are, they are actually a good thing because they force us to reduce consumption of a limited resource, expedite development of alternatives, and consider how to reduce energy consumption more generally.
We have enjoyed the low cost of gasoline while elsewhere prices have been quite high. Maybe this will finally fuel alternative technology and public transportation.
What I don't get is how the market can stay so bullish as people's wallets are getting socked by the high gas prices.
The major oil companies do not seem to be suffering - surely they can reduce prices and still make reasonable profits. Big business is just another form of politics.....and you don't want to get me started on that!
Cars suck. I wish Western MA had a better public transportation system like Boston so I could get rid of my car! I'd save tons!
We need to do something about the soaring gas prices.. there are many families barely affording groceries now. I would like to drive less but there are limited jobs in my area so I have a 45 min commute.