Gas prices: where are we heading?

Nevada is one of the 15 states hit hardest by the gas price spike. Where are we headed?

The price of gas has been all over the news this week.

Here in Chicago, came the milestone that, at more than $4.00 per gallon, the city had the highest price of any city in the nation.

At Hoy, in an analysis of Census data that will run tomorrow, we found that 72 percent of Latinos drove to work in 2009-the highest figure among white, black, Asian and Hispanic drivers in the city.

The citywide figure was 61 percent, just to give you a framework.

President Obama has tried to staunch the political bleeding that has come his way from this issue by calling for Congress to take immediate action to deal with the issue.  Talking Points Memo wrote about alternative fuels, The Washington Post talked with disgruntled drivers and  Marathon Pundit covered a growing trend of gas siphoning in California.

Meanwhile, our editor Fernando dug up a 2005 GAO report about the factors that influence the retail price of gas.

While I have very much enjoyed previous GAO reports, this one was a tad on the elementary side that was heavy on talk about state and federal taxes on low on a central element in the equation: the seeming insatiable avarice of oil owners for the inky liquid Daniel Yergin aptly called the prize.

In keeping with yesterday’s infographic theme, I’d like to share this piece from Business Insider that neatly illustrates both the price spike in the 15 states hit hardest as well as how the nation’s drivers, myself included, still pay relatively low rates compared to the rest of the world.

Where are we headed with this?  Will the increased prices truly lead to changed behavior?  What about the whole of peak oil?

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2 responses to “Gas prices: where are we heading?

  1. I propose we increase the price of a gallon of gasoline to $10/gallon.
    And if that is not the highest price in the world, let’s increase it such that we have the most expensive gasoline in the world. What would happen?

    We would stop driving cars – wha wha wha what??? Think about it, no more worries about your teenage kid driving drunk or your parents/grandparents rolling “slowly” thru three lanes on the Dan Ryan. We just made a major dent in global warming, and helped the courageous souls being murdered by petro-dictatorships. You see, car drivers are paying for their bullets and tanks. Is your son or daughter’s death in Iraq or Afghanistan (Libya, Syria, Saudi Arabia, etc.) worth the price of your Toyota Prius?

    We would start riding our bikes – 40% of ALL transportation in Amsterdam is by bicycle. It is surely less than 1% in Chicago. Think of how easy it would be to drive to work without any cars on the road. And how about this for a solution to the outrageous price of healthcare – better health! Heck, we all ride our bikes say 20-30 miles/day and our health care bills will surely decrease radically. Can’t ride a bike? All these transportation savings from eliminating cars would help us produce a world-class train system. All aboard!

    OK, we have now radically reduced our transportation costs, military costs, and health care costs by increasing the price of gasoline to $10/gallon. Perhaps these savings could be used to jump start alternative energy sources like solar, geothermal, wind, etc. And if you want nuclear power, I am happy to dig a hole in your backyard for the nuclear waste.

    Or better yet, maybe these billions of dollars could be used to help “finally” tear down our segregated public school system. And guess what? If we “radically” improve say the Chicago public school system (where currently 75% of the students are functionally illiterate for the 21 century), thousands of kids will walk to school thinking about solving a math problem instead of thinking about whether or not that guy up there has a gun or not.

    This nut job probably wants to go back to riding horses to work! Hmmmm…
    The droppings are a natural fertilizer for say organic, local vegetables and…….

    The more I think about it, I suggest we increase the price of gasoline to $25 /gallon. Ain’t it worth the risk?

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