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Pricey Country Roads: Gas Prices Hit Rural Americans Harder

Americans everywhere are shocked and stressed as gas reaches the all-time high with the national average at $4 per gallon. But, common outrage does not mean common hardship. High gas prices impact rural USA the worst.

Those living outside cities are facing tough decisions, especially in the Southeast where public transportation is lacking and commute distances are sprawling. For farm workers, sports-utility vehicles actually have some utility; but, it's much more costly to fill up pick-up trucks and vans. To adjust, some are cutting back on meat, others are borrowing money for gas, and some are searching for scarce jobs closer to home.

Faraway from rural America, Saudi Arabia is calling for a summit on astronomical oil prices. The Saudi Information and Culture Minister said that the kingdom wants to ensure that there are no unwarranted or unnatural oil price hikes that could impact international economies, especially those of developing countries.

Perhaps oil producers like Saudi Arabia are worried that high prices will force people to reduce their demand. Hearing about the struggles in rural America, it's difficult to imagine how consumers won't try to kick their oil addiction as soon as possible.

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UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
And now that GM has closed 4 major plants in WI, IN, and OH, maybe they will turn the page and begin production of cars that are more in line with what consumers need. Maybe the government will give them a huge bailout amount. We'll see.
hausfrau hausfrau 7 years
Oh its true baby! ;)
hausfrau hausfrau 7 years
Oh its true baby! ;)
onabanana onabanana 7 years
If that's true, then AWESOME!
onabanana onabanana 7 years
If that's true, then AWESOME!
hausfrau hausfrau 7 years
The technology of diesel engines is much farther along than hybrid engines, you can't even compare the two. In fact on long commutes, diesel engines get better mileage, a lot better mileage, than hybrid engines. Clean diesel is clean enough to pass EPA standards in NY and Cali, so why not give it a shot till proven wrong? While we work on other things of course...
hausfrau hausfrau 7 years
The technology of diesel engines is much farther along than hybrid engines, you can't even compare the two. In fact on long commutes, diesel engines get better mileage, a lot better mileage, than hybrid engines.Clean diesel is clean enough to pass EPA standards in NY and Cali, so why not give it a shot till proven wrong? While we work on other things of course...
onabanana onabanana 7 years
Clean diesel is good but the technology isn't that far a long we stopped use of regular diesel in consumer vehicles because it contributed to acid rain.
onabanana onabanana 7 years
The fact is, the auto industry has spent the last 50 years making bigger faster cars instead of more fuel efficient vehicles. And we have all bought into it, and fueled this idea. It's not like we didn't know oil was a non-renewable resource. As a whole we decided it was more important to get our larger behinds in giant fast cars, eat more meat, burn more petroleum. Our concept of what we NEED is so skewed. People in the west and increasingly so in China and other parts of Asia live life styles of excess which have contributed to our global oil glut. We can make life style changes or we can suffer the consequences. Small changes can make a huge impact. I've started turning down the thermostat and reducing our meat intake. SUV owner or not we need to re shift our concept of NEED and learn to live leaner life styles. Gas is far from cheap in the US but it's nothing compared to the prices they pay in Europe.
onabanana onabanana 7 years
The fact is, the auto industry has spent the last 50 years making bigger faster cars instead of more fuel efficient vehicles. And we have all bought into it, and fueled this idea. It's not like we didn't know oil was a non-renewable resource. As a whole we decided it was more important to get our larger behinds in giant fast cars, eat more meat, burn more petroleum. Our concept of what we NEED is so skewed. People in the west and increasingly so in China and other parts of Asia live life styles of excess which have contributed to our global oil glut. We can make life style changes or we can suffer the consequences. Small changes can make a huge impact. I've started turning down the thermostat and reducing our meat intake. SUV owner or not we need to re shift our concept of NEED and learn to live leaner life styles. Gas is far from cheap in the US but it's nothing compared to the prices they pay in Europe.
tiff58 tiff58 7 years
Thank you for mentioning that, Cab. I don't know much about this, but I have also heard that the oil companies have been paying off the auto manufacturers to NOT make their cars as fuel efficient as possible- also completely against a free market. I am not someone who is rallying against the oil companies. It's just very obvious to me that something is broken and it must be fixed.
hausfrau hausfrau 7 years
Bear in mind that people in Europe also have SUVs, its not like we're the only country that has them. I saw plenty of SUVs when I was in Europe and all I could think was, SUCKERS!! haha! :) jkAlso we're overlooking something that really plays into how the American people have been screwed by our gov't on this and thats subsidises for the American auto industry. You guys know I love this country, but the fact is that the American auto industry doesn't make itself competitive. 40% of GM's sales are from SUVs and trucks. They've have PLENTY of years to remedy that and they haven't, why? Because our lawmakers consistently block legislation that would force them to be more competitive. The fact is that European and Japanese automakers cars are not only more efficient and better quality, but European automakers especially have MANY models in their lines that use high quality low sulfur diesel and can go much further on the same amount of gas. When you're in Europe, almost every car is a diesel and uses this. But the fact is that the gov't blocked the importation of high quality low sulfur diesel for years in order to protect American automakers so they wouldn't lose sales to overseas companies.Its a big load of BS and completely against the very basics of a free market.All those SUVs in Europe? Most are diesel, run on clean diesel, and get the same if not better mileage than our gas sedans.
hausfrau hausfrau 7 years
Bear in mind that people in Europe also have SUVs, its not like we're the only country that has them. I saw plenty of SUVs when I was in Europe and all I could think was, SUCKERS!! haha! :) jk Also we're overlooking something that really plays into how the American people have been screwed by our gov't on this and thats subsidises for the American auto industry. You guys know I love this country, but the fact is that the American auto industry doesn't make itself competitive. 40% of GM's sales are from SUVs and trucks. They've have PLENTY of years to remedy that and they haven't, why? Because our lawmakers consistently block legislation that would force them to be more competitive. The fact is that European and Japanese automakers cars are not only more efficient and better quality, but European automakers especially have MANY models in their lines that use high quality low sulfur diesel and can go much further on the same amount of gas. When you're in Europe, almost every car is a diesel and uses this. But the fact is that the gov't blocked the importation of high quality low sulfur diesel for years in order to protect American automakers so they wouldn't lose sales to overseas companies. Its a big load of BS and completely against the very basics of a free market. All those SUVs in Europe? Most are diesel, run on clean diesel, and get the same if not better mileage than our gas sedans.
bellaressa bellaressa 7 years
I am so confused. Why are others concerned why people utilize their SUV’s? Not everyone is using them to make a grand statement of wealth or to drive around one kid; some people generally need them. Very judgmental I see.
tiff58 tiff58 7 years
Thanks CoralAmber. :) When we have all three in the back, they literelly barely fit. They can't even all lay down without being on top of each other! Like you, we also do a lot of DIY, and it does come in handy. When we bought it we also weren't driving these long distances- I had no idea that I would have to move for my job.
tiff58 tiff58 7 years
Thanks CoralAmber. :) When we have all three in the back, they literelly barely fit. They can't even all lay down without being on top of each other! Like you, we also do a lot of DIY, and it does come in handy. When we bought it we also weren't driving these long distances- I had no idea that I would have to move for my job.
CoralAmber CoralAmber 7 years
tiff58 do not feel bad for your dogs being one of the reasons you prefer an SUV. Imagine trying to get 3 large dogs to the vet in a hatchback or station wagon. It's almost laughable. Of course you could always just do one dog at a time and use 3 times the amount of gas ;) My family has one sedan and one SUV because of Illinois winters. We often use the SUV for hauling furniture my mom rehabs or cumbersome construction materials for home DIY projects. That's the "Utility" part of SUV. I'm getting kind of tired of my friends implying that I'm a horrible person just because I also use it to commute to work. Isn't paying the extra money for gas enough of a punishment?
CoralAmber CoralAmber 7 years
tiff58 do not feel bad for your dogs being one of the reasons you prefer an SUV. Imagine trying to get 3 large dogs to the vet in a hatchback or station wagon. It's almost laughable. Of course you could always just do one dog at a time and use 3 times the amount of gas ;) My family has one sedan and one SUV because of Illinois winters. We often use the SUV for hauling furniture my mom rehabs or cumbersome construction materials for home DIY projects. That's the "Utility" part of SUV. I'm getting kind of tired of my friends implying that I'm a horrible person just because I also use it to commute to work. Isn't paying the extra money for gas enough of a punishment?
Jillness Jillness 7 years
It was awful, Bella...they were wearing terrible clothes and had no rhythm! ;)My boyfriend also hears that he "went city" from his relatives, of course, they said that when he first moved to a town of 300,000 as well.
Jillness Jillness 7 years
It was awful, Bella...they were wearing terrible clothes and had no rhythm! ;) My boyfriend also hears that he "went city" from his relatives, of course, they said that when he first moved to a town of 300,000 as well.
bellaressa bellaressa 7 years
Ohh my Jill, I did not see that commerical. I guess I just never think that others think like that, I mostly hear from my Southern relatives that I went city.
tiff58 tiff58 7 years
I feel like part of the reason for rising costs is that OPEC knows that people are increasingly concerned with alternative fuels and becoming more energy efficient, and they also know that more and more countries are drilling. They know that their oil won't be as in demand in the future and they are trying to get all that they can right now. I have no facts to back up what I am saying, that's just what I feel is happening.
Jillness Jillness 7 years
I heard they are predicting $5 a gallon by the 4th of July! I also heard that speculation was part of the reason for rising costs!
Jillness Jillness 7 years
I heard they are predicting $5 a gallon by the 4th of July!I also heard that speculation was part of the reason for rising costs!
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 7 years
I was just in Norway this weekend, which is a part of OPEC, and the prices there for gas are triple the prices in the US, and you pay an extra tax for diesel. And a lot of people live in scarcely populated areas there as well, but you will always find a bus/ferry/city trains etc. to get to work or school and back. So I don't believe in things being impossible.
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