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High Price For Cheap Gas — Would You Rather Pay More?

Last Summer the religious prayed for relief at the pump, lawmakers called for a 55 mph national speed limit to conserve fuel, and cash-strapped drivers chanted, "Drill, baby. Drill!" But today, oil goes for $40 a barrel, one-third of what it cost in July. Recently, Salon took an in-depth look into the negative consequences of falling oil prices.

Low gas prices mean economic hardship and instability in oil-producing countries — like Nigeria, Russia, Iran, Kuwait, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico — who use oil revenue to fund education, health care, or to create jobs. In addition, without the pain at the pump, we give less priority to conservation, public transportation, and developing alternative energy sources. Continued dependence on increasingly unstable oil countries could be the high price of low gas prices!


Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 8 years
Pop [19] Thanks for clarifying that. I guess it didn't make sense to me for the government to give tax breaks and checks to the public to stimulate the economy only to up the price of gas so they can ....what? get their money back or decide what the money is spent on. Certainly small businesses would benefit more, at least in the west, if the government keeps gas prices down.
Carrie-Sue Carrie-Sue 8 years
Way to go, gooniette! What gives the government (or anyone else for that matter) the right to decide what people should be spending their money on? If a person decides to try and be eco-friendly or to donate to a charity, that's wonderful! I really applaud that sort of behavior. But no one should be able to force me into putting money towards something they feel is a good thing.
janneth janneth 8 years
Gas prices rose steeply; Detroit Big 3 crashed. Yes, it is related.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
mydia - Barack Obama: I think that... we have been slow to move in a better direction when it comes to energy usage. And the president, frankly, hasn't had an energy policy.* And as a consequence we've been consuming energy as if it's infinite. We now know that our demand is badly outstripping supply with China and India growing as rapidly as they are. CNBC's John Harwood: So could the (high) oil prices help us? Barack Obama: I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment. The fact that this is such a shock to American pocketbooks is not a good thing. But if we take some steps right now to help people make the adjustment, first of all by putting more money in their pockets, but also by encouraging the market to adapt to these new circumstances more rapidly, particularly U.S. automakers
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
I only buy fair-trade gasoline.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
Where are people getting all this 'according to Obama' stuff from this article? Not once does the Salon piece say Obama wants higher gas prices (or mention Obama at all frankly), and I haven't seen that he said that anywhere else.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
The benefit is getting money into the coffers of the US treasury department.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
According to Obama, we all benefit globally because with high prices, people will use less. Therefore less drilling, less emissions from cars etc. I'm not buying it though. Because with less demand the price of oil will drop again and by his theory, causing people to use more. Where is the benefit there. To me it shows he is completely ignorant about economics.
valancyjane valancyjane 8 years
What pop said.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Well, whatever your idealized vision of an adult is, that's great. But my guess is about 95% of Americans wouldn't qualify. And I'm not saying that our government should intervene. I'm simply saying we're behaving the way we are because selfishness (on some level) is in our nature. Anyway, I'm still waiting to hear how any one of us personally benefits by raising gas prices. From your comment my guess is that you think schadenfreude plays a part?
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
Pop- that is how people modify children's behavior. As adults we should not need that, nor should our government treat us as such. It is also unfair to punish those of us who have minimal impact just so you feel good about yourself. (not speaking about anyone in particular on here)
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Jazz, if Obama wants to make gas prices higher he'll do it by levying a tax. He has no interest in passing the profits along to oil nations. Hainan, whether we're adults or not has nothing to do with needing selfish motives to modify behavior. That's just human nature.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
valancy- you need the price of gas to be higher to get you to modify your behavior? Seeing as we are all adults on here (I think) we don't need to be treated like children by our government.
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 8 years
Does Obama think raising the price of gas is going to help stimulate our economy!? when all our money is going to these "poor" oil-rich countries rather than stimulating businesses in our own country? He's a smart man, surely there must be another motive. I believe we are at the point where the United States needs to figure out how to save itself rather than all the other "poor" countries in the world and hopefully restore the strength of our country to ensure a future where we're in a position to help those "poor" countries whose dictators refuse to help their own people.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
Well, since public transportation simply does not exist in about 1/3 of the towns I've lived in, and since it can snow up to two or three feet at a time there, making walking to work a ridiculous possibility, you'll have to excuse me when I say I don't want higher gas prices for the good of the world.
valancyjane valancyjane 8 years
Where do you get that from Hainan ... ? I'm willing to pay higher prices (higher = $2-3, not $4-5), because I know my own behavior needs some modification just like everyone else's. I'm not saying artificially high gas prices will solve all the problems, and I know I'm lucky in that I won't go broke paying $3 a gallon for gas, but these super-low prices make me nervous.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
I might call that self-centered, but I don't think I'd use the word greedy. To me that implies the individuals are getting some benefit from higher gas prices, like stock dividends or something. I'm not arguing for one way or another btw. I don't know the right answer on this.
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 8 years
It's not my fault that oil producing countries squandered their wealth and didn't manage it well. I'm not going to wish for higher prices of use more gas because of it. It's actually in their long term interest to get us to continue buying their oil. High prices accelerate the drive to find alternates and if we are ever free of foreign oil they are going to be much worse off than they are now.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
Because you are all for higher gas prices as long as you don't have to pay them.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
I'm confused as to why wanting higher gas prices makes people greedy? Are you saying that generally, or only in the case where the higher price would be a tax instead of an increased price per barrel?
melizzle melizzle 8 years
On a separate note... cheap gas can often mean more additives and damage to your car. Be careful.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I'm all for cheaper methods of transportation. I don't think we should force the country into those alternatives by raising the price of gas.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
drill, baby, drill. I think all of you who said that you would rather high gas prices, and then you would ride your bike or use public transportation, that defeats the purpose of the high gas prices. Yes you may be saving the environment, which I applaud you for, but it still shows your greed. Those countries will still not get the revenue they need to prosper. I think they need to find new ways to create revenue. And I don't buy into Obama's idea that the increased gas prices are a good thing. The only thing the high gas prices did for anyone I know, was make them buy cheaper things, instead of the high quality ones they were used to. Where we live, public transportation stinks, and the with the high gas prices, our local government could not afford to do anything about fixing public transportation. The whole idea is stupid to me and goes against economic principle. Obama is for it because he can afford to buy expensive gas. However if families here where I live used the public transportation, they would have to drop off their kids at school 2 hours before school begins, then off to the day care where they would have to pay at least 1 hour extra, just to be on time to work. It just isn't feasible for everyone to jump on the green band wagon. A lot of people are doing their best, and to impose high gas prices on people just so some people can feel good inside is lame!
mondaymoos mondaymoos 8 years
I have to agree with Jazz Z here. I don't feel bad that the price has fallen and now irresponsible countries have to look elseware for revenue. That said, I've always been pro green energy sources, and I walk or bikeride when it's under 15 minutes. I don't need cost to motivate me to do the right thing.
valancyjane valancyjane 8 years
I'm not asking for $4 a gallon again, but people need a motivator to do the right thing (in America anyway) and right now, if you consider saving gas to be the right thing, they don't have that motivator. I can't think of any, but I'm sure there must be other products with a price floor/ceiling determined by factors other than the market ... And by the way, if I never hear "Drill baby drill" again I will be a happy girl.
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