Rising gas prices hit the wallets once more

Julie Tran

From pump to pump, the nation is seeing an increase in the gas prices and it’s the highest ever since two years ago.

According to Jerry Bartash of MarketWatch, the cost of gasoline has risen by 50 cents, which is contributed by the unrest going on in the Middle East. Exponentially, the increased price of gas is also impacting basic necessities ranging from consumer goods to fruits and vegetables. On average, the price of regular gasoline will be $3.57 per gallon, although there’s speculation of gasoline going up to $5 per gallon in the summer.

Morgan Barrows, environmental studies instructor at Saddleback, said that the amount of petroleum and gasoline in the world is very limited.

“At the current consumption rates, there is only a 10-year supply of gasoline in the U.S. and a 40-year supply worldwide.” Barrows said.

Such staggering statistics can serve as a wake-up call to people across the nation. As of right now, the United States is the largest consumer of gasoline and petroleum based products in the world at a total of 19.5 million barrels per day. China takes second place with a daily consumption of 7.9 million barrels per day and Japan in this place with 4.8 million barrels daily.

In addition to the economic and environmental costs of utilizing gasoline, there’s also a significant price when it comes to health. People living in high density areas such as Los Angeles are more susceptible to being exposed to air pollution. Burning gasoline or petroleum based products is one of the key factors that contribute to the pollution. According to Barrows, she said that the population of people living in southern California have ten years shaved off their lifespan in comparison to the average American.

Not only are the gas prices affect the cost of various items, but it’s also affecting the way Americans spend their money. Dhanya Skariachan of Reuters writes that the rising cost of gasoline will cause a serious dent in the spring season.

Former student of Saddleback College, Kelly Ervin, 19, nursing, believes the government should lift the off shore drilling restrictions. “It would make the U.S. self sufficient again instead of allowing war torn countries to control our supplies,” Ervin said. “I easily spend up to 200 dollars on gas every month. If it gets any worse, I will stop driving outside my usual routine and start walking, or start taking the bus to get to places.”

The ever-changing skyrocketing prices on gas, put a hold on several people’s budget for essential life necessities. “I could use the money I put towards gas to pay for school supplies and books,” Ervin said. “I really need a laptop for my classes, but I can’t afford to put money aside right now because of gas.”

A survey conducted by America’s Research Group asked three-quarters of Americans stated that they plan to spend much less due to the lagging economy. About two-thirds of the American economy is dependent on consumer spending, which is a significant majority for the nation.

“There’s only so much oil. The more we take, the less there is, and the more we’ll have to, and continue to, pay,” Jeremy Cordova, 21, environmental science, said. “Oil prices have steadily risen for decades, and that’s a trend I see continuing for decades more, until we run out, or find something better.”

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