Our Opinion: Can we live with high gas prices?
Published 7:18 pm Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Gas prices soared to $3 per gallon and beyond in the past week - just in time for those annual summer drives to the beach.
But high gas prices are more than just an inconvenience for vacationers. They can cause a drain on the entire economy - from workers who rely on transportation to companies that then pass those costs on to consumers.
When gas prices go higher, the easiest culprit to blame are the oil companies who are making record profits. But what else can we expect them to do in a market economy?
Like it or not, we are the consumers who are feeding the cycle of supply and demand by driving SUVs and trucks that use so much gas.
Plants to make cheaper alternative fuels are being built across the country - including a few in Alabama - but those aren't coming fast enough to help stave off the demand that pushes prices so high.
Many of us are willing to pay the higher gas prices for the sake of convenience - we accept it begrudgingly, but we do it.
We live in a country in which people are addicted to their cars, but we also live in a country in which some people are faced with the Catch-22 of being able to afford the gas for a trip to the grocery store or the groceries themselves - not both.
As consumers, what can we do? We need to look for ways to conserve gas while we urge our lawmakers to offer tax breaks for alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles. Finding new places to drill for oil is a short-term solution. We need environmentally safe - and certainly cheaper - alternatives.
In the meantime, keep saving those pennies - and lots of nickels, dimes and quarters - for the drive home.