SouthCoast Gas Prices Hit $4 a Gallon, but What’s Next?
For the first time in my memory, we are seeing 4's at the beginning of gas prices here on the SouthCoast.
When I gassed up today, I was shocked to see regular unleaded sitting at $3.99 a gallon. Add in the 9/10 of a cent and you're only a fraction of a penny away from an unprecedented $4!
At the gas station I go to, gas prices have leaped over the past two weeks nearly a dollar per gallon across the board. If you've got a 20-gallon tank, you're talking about an extra $20 a fill-up. Suddenly, you're looking at an added expense of $100 a month (or more) popping out of nowhere. All of this, on top of the massive inflation we are seeing, is really causing some families to go back to the drawing board with their weekly budgets.
I was on the phone with a friend in San Francisco today. He was filling up his SUV to the tune of $5.79 a gallon for super unleaded. He says California prices were at roughly $4 a gallon two weeks ago, and now they are creeping up on $6 a gallon.
Of course, a major factor for the direction of gas prices over the next several weeks will be the events that unfold with respect to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Oil prices, as we know, are dictated by speculation. The war in eastern Europe has speculators spooked, worried about oil supplies when over 100,000 barrels a day of Russian oil is not available for our use.
Are we at a threshold? How high would the cost of gas have to climb before you started making real decisions to actively change your driving behavior? If the SouthCoast goes from $4 to $6 a gallon for gas over the next several weeks (as it did in California), would that be enough for you to change habits?
If gas prices got high enough, that job that's 40 minutes away might no longer be worth the gas.
It's tough because we've just finished up two years of being cooped up. Now that the mask restrictions have been fully lifted, here we are again. We're finally able to travel, but we can't afford it.
We are certainly living through some weird times.