An exasperated expression crossed Jayme Ng’s face as she glanced at the screen on the gas pump. The plain and expressionless digits popped tall and mighty — almost frightening — as they appeared before her.
She did a double take, but the number didn’t budge: $5.29 for a gallon of gas.
“It sucks,” Ng said. “It does, but what are we gonna do? Why complain about something we all are experiencing. Sure, that gas bill hits a little harder, but I have to get gas in order to get to work, to make money and to feed my family.”
Ng inserted the nozzle and watched as her car figuratively drained her wallet at the local 76 station in Pacifica, the city she calls home. As she waited, she realized that Costco’s gas was roughly 60 cents cheaper, which caused her to abandon the in-progress fill-up. Ng’s experience is an example of the current climate when it comes to prices; the current system has transformed into an outline of the stock market.
Gas prices have seen a monumental increase since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, leading to the highest rates in American history. There has been an even larger bump since the United States announced hefty economic sanctions against Russia and banned all imports of their oil. Along with the previously high inflation numbers, Americans are facing the consequences of the war overseas and are preparing to suffer at the gas pump as a result.
“Inflation is supply and demand,” said Kevin Nelson, an economics professor at Skyline College. “After World War II, the country had inflation for a period of years as U.S. production shifted from wartime supplies to peacetime supplies. As the supply chain ‘leveled out’ and ‘supply met demand,’ prices stabilized, and wages balanced out prices.”
These steep prices are expected to remain high for quite some time, possibly even through April. Until then, many drivers are unstrapping their seatbelts, opening the door and walking away from the thought of commuting long distances with their vehicles. As a result, finding ways to conserve money and fuel has become the number one priority.
Even though the outlook and public persona of gasless vehicles are undeveloped, it wouldn’t be a stretch to consider them the future of transportation. According to a study conducted by Electrek in mid-2021, cumulative plug-in electric vehicle sales had bypassed 2 million. California hopes to have 61% zero-emission vehicles by 2030.
“Maybe this cost will force people to go electric earlier than planned and reduce our dependence on oil,” said Kevin Kellogg, a Pacifica resident.
Kellogg says he recently purchased an electric vehicle and now finds his car payments slightly …….