It’s a pain in the gas

STAFF EDITORIAL: Oil prices are at an all-time high but it should not control our lives.

When placed in tough situations, Americans tend to roll up their sleeves, go to work, and find a way to overcome adversity. This is why some good will come out of the current trend of rising prices at the gas pump.

Somewhere in America there is a genius in a basement working to solve the problem of our dependence on foreign sources of energy, particularly fossil-based fuel extracted out of volatile regions.

Earlier this month, the average cost of a gallon of gas was up to $4.20. The increase in the cost of gas coincides with the upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa. While we do not import oil from Libya, European countries that do are scrambling to buy oil from the same sources we do, driving up the prices.

Trends show that prices in California tend to rise before the beginning of summer. By the end of the month, $5 for a gallon, maybe even higher, is a possibility.

As gas prices rise, the prices of consumer goods, including necessities like food, increase. Notice how Subway’s 12-inch sandwiches are up $1 to $6.  A pack of frozen fish sticks, among the cheapest of meals, has gone up an average of $2.

Unfortunately, because of our economy’s dependence of foreign oil, the otherwise heartwarming, Jeffersonian struggle of the Middle Eastern people vs. authoritarian tyrants is impeding our recovery.

Maybe the answer to battle the price at the pump is as simple as companies allowing  more employees to work from home to save gas and reduce traffic.

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Perhaps the long-term solution is creating a more efficient public transportation system. However, the best option is to eliminate our need for oil-driven vehicles.

In the meantime, we as students can implement common-sense solutions while waiting for Superman to come up with a way to transport us, and the necessities and luxuries that drive us, without burning million-year-old dinosaurs from under a vast desert a world away.

If you live on a direct bus route to school, take it. If you live within a not unreasonable distance of two to three miles from where you need to be, hoof it. If you know someone who lives near you, and you’re both going to the same place, share a ride.

There are some sacrifices that must be made — foregoing a meal, a movie, a pair of jeans, in order to get some place we need or want to be. Gas prices are beyond our control — it’s beyond the government’s control.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.

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