CNN has an article about how we need to brace ourselves for gas to hit $4 a gallon. I think they’re being pretty conservative. It’s going to hit $5 a gallon eventually, but since that number scares the absolute crap out of most people (bottom line: it will make groceries and consumer goods way out of the price range of most families, and there will be riots — I’m calling it), let’s just think of the impact on your average family at $4 a gallon.
Most American households have at least two cars. If you commute more than a half-hour to work each way, chances are you have to fill up the tank about five times every month. Let’s say you have a smaller car with a 12-gallon tank. These aren’t unreasonable numbers (if you have an SUV, you’re already going to be way over this). 12 x $4 x 5 = $240 a month. Multiply that by 2 for your average two cars and you’re at $480 a month (equivalent to more than most people’s car payments). At $3 a gallon, you’re spending $120 less a month. That $1 per gallon difference in gas more than pays for a monthly pass for the Metra.
Most of us crapped ourselves when gas jumped to $2 a gallon a couple of years ago. Now we’re pushing $4. That’s nothing compared to the UK where they’re spending the equivalent of $7 a gallon, as is most of Europe. Guess what, kids? China consumes way more gas than we do, and they’re getting the discounts for bulk purchasing now. OPEC is talking strategy for the impact of biodiesel and alternative fuels in their European and American pricing for oil.
I love this town. When you come to visit us, just take a bus or train. It’s definitely going to be cheaper than driving. 🙂