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Will People Drive Less if Gas Hits $7 per Gallon?

SodaHead News 2011/03/04 20:00:00
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Everyone has a breaking point. Some people went full RedBox when movie tickets hit $10.50, others swore off coffee when the price rose above $5 a cup.

But with the continued unrest in Libya and the upheaval all over the Middle East, oil prices are on the rise again and experts are warning that Americans may start paying dearly at the pump. How dearly? If you thought the nearly $4/gallon of gas from 2008 was a drag, The Huffington Post reports that those days may soon feel like a picnic.

One of Wall Street's most prominent energy analysts, Oppenheimer & Co.'s Fadel Gheit, said this week that people are not fully getting the picture.

"There is no cure for what's going on," he said, explaining that the political upheaval in such oil-producing countries as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Iran could lead to, yes, $7 a gallon gas.

Those six countries produced about 21.2 million barrels of oil a day amounting to 27 percent of global oil supply. If political uprisings continue and lead to likely oil disruptions and higher crude prices, we might see the highest prices we’ve ever seen at the pump.

The domino effect could also jeopardize the fragile economic recovery if currently booming stock prices take a tumble due to fears of cut backs as a result of a gas shock. Until Thursday’s rally, that effect already seemed to be in place, as the Dow Jones stock index slid 322 points in the week’s first three sessions.

Prices for a barrel of oil reached their peak in July 2008 at $147.27, and while they’re now just under $100/barrel, experts say they’re headed to $100-$130.

The average gallon of gas is around $3.17 now, expected to climb to $3.50 by spring and possibly as high as $4.25 a gallon by July 4. And if things go haywire in Saudi Arabia, forget about it, $7 a gallon may be the low end of things.

Will you drive if gas is $7 a gallon?
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Top Opinion

  • Mr. Smith 2011/03/04 21:31:00
    Yes
    Mr. Smith
    +27
    They'll drive less when it hits $5.00.....if it hits $7.00 they'll be no place to drive because we'll be in a world-wide economic meltdown.

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  • BJet 2013/10/21 15:40:14
    Yes
    BJet
    Back to the 1940.
  • nccowboy 2013/06/01 02:22:05
    No
    nccowboy
    I check Yes for myself but No for the people on the East Coast. I don't drive any more than I have to since the price has sky-rocketed. That red truck you see don't get but 10 mile to the gallon. So' I stay at home.
  • the warrior monk (BN- 0 ) 2011/05/02 03:26:20
    Yes
    the warrior monk (BN- 0 )
    People will drive less, but they won't like it. We don't have a good alternative for the internal combustion engine and people won't change because it's good for humanity. I'm idealistic but I have to be realistic here--- most people only care about themselves and doing what is easier.

    To get people to really make a change-- we need to suggest a positive behavior to switch to. Telling people-- "they are making a mistake, so stop doing that"--is not enough. People just resist that.
  • Blueskies 2011/05/01 23:17:56
    Yes
    Blueskies
    Will people drive less when gas costs over $1 a gallon? Heck Yes!
    I cut back untill the price drops to back under 99 cents a gallon..
    Over the last 12 years I reduced the miles I had to drive by over 90%. Considering we pump and refine our gasoline locally you would think we would get a price break, but no...
  • kevildawg 2011/05/01 16:08:56
    No
    kevildawg
    Although those people who are really feeling tapped out by gas prices will likely drive less, the upper middle class and wealthier folks who can afford higher gas prices will most likely not deviate from their usual driving habits (although a few will make the conscious effort to reduce their driving).

    Gas prices are driven by the simple economic principle of "supply and demand." When demand exceeds supply, prices will rise. With that said, the people who can afford large, trendy, gas-guzzling vehicles are the ones who are increasing the demand for gas the most. Other folks who - either by necessity or choice - are driving smaller, more fuel-efficient autos (including some hybrids) don't contribute nearly as much to the same demand. Therein lies my belief, "Why should people driving smaller, fuel-efficient cars have to pay the same high prices that those driving the gas-guzzlers pay?" Here's my proposed solution....

    Install weight-scales at gas pumps, such that the pumps would calculate the gas price by the weight of each vehicle. Accordingly, those driving the guzzlers would pay higher prices for gas than those who - by necessity or choice - drive much more efficient cars.

    I'm very interested in hearing what you think about this. By the way, in an effort to stave o...
    Although those people who are really feeling tapped out by gas prices will likely drive less, the upper middle class and wealthier folks who can afford higher gas prices will most likely not deviate from their usual driving habits (although a few will make the conscious effort to reduce their driving).

    Gas prices are driven by the simple economic principle of "supply and demand." When demand exceeds supply, prices will rise. With that said, the people who can afford large, trendy, gas-guzzling vehicles are the ones who are increasing the demand for gas the most. Other folks who - either by necessity or choice - are driving smaller, more fuel-efficient autos (including some hybrids) don't contribute nearly as much to the same demand. Therein lies my belief, "Why should people driving smaller, fuel-efficient cars have to pay the same high prices that those driving the gas-guzzlers pay?" Here's my proposed solution....

    Install weight-scales at gas pumps, such that the pumps would calculate the gas price by the weight of each vehicle. Accordingly, those driving the guzzlers would pay higher prices for gas than those who - by necessity or choice - drive much more efficient cars.

    I'm very interested in hearing what you think about this. By the way, in an effort to stave off peoples' inquiries as to what I drive, I say that I don't drive at all. I'm physically unable to drive a vehicle anymore. But, I am still concerned about high gas prices, especially given that many folks cannot afford the luxury of driving large, trendy automobiles, let alone having to pay higher gas prices.
    (more)
  • MCR 2011/05/01 12:26:01
    Yes
    MCR
    im just about to get my license hopefully but the thing is i cant find a job, ive been looking for a year with no luck. they hire someone better. anyway, if i cant find a job how am i going to pay for gas? me and my friends will have to car pool and switch off everytime
  • WhereIsAmerica? ~PWCM~JLA 2011/05/01 03:57:45
    Yes
    WhereIsAmerica? ~PWCM~JLA
    +1
    They are already driving less.
  • The Silencer 2011/05/01 03:48:26
    Yes
    The Silencer
    A good solution would be to hit up Obama's unlimited slush fund for his new healthcare system. I am quite sure that will help cover some of gas costs!!!!!!
  • Twinky 2011/05/01 01:40:46
    No
    Twinky
    Doubt it... it's over $8 per gallon here in the uk and it's not changed people's driving habits much... and it's still going up
  • Blueskies Twinky 2011/05/01 23:33:59
    Blueskies
    It changed mine. In 2000 I used about 3000 gallons.Last year less than a thousand, and this year maybe 400 gallons.
    But what is good about making me a prisoner, priced out of the ability to travel around my country?
  • ttfndude 2011/04/30 13:57:19
    Yes
    ttfndude
    It hurts those of us still making the same as we did 5 years ago (gov't job) but $7 a gallon it would be cheaper to be on welfare than to go to work. Unfortunately some people have to drive (we have a child who needs multiple therapy sessions a week) and that's what those money grabbing bastards in Washington and OPEC are shooting for. Make no mistake they will still profit no matter what.
  • Blueskies ttfndude 2011/05/01 23:39:11
    Blueskies
    Thats like the Banks. They never lose.
  • Hobbitt / Oldsquid 2011/04/27 22:39:35
    No
    Hobbitt / Oldsquid
    When the L/P's finally loose the White House and the drilling leases are reinstated the prices will come down. As for weather this will cause a decrease in driving, it already has and it is 499 a gallon where I live.. I am retired and I only leave the house now When I absolutely have to. My NAVY pension does not go as far as it used to.
  • Brosia 2011/04/16 02:11:25
    Yes
    Brosia
    +1
    At least, some will. I don't know if I can. I live 15 minutes car ride from work, and currently only drive my own car on the weekends, as I can take my company vehicle home during the week. But I don't know how long that will last when gas gets that high. And if I cannot take my bus home, I will not be able to afford to drive to work. That totally sucks, because the bus does not run that early in the morning. I hate our oil sucking country sometimes...but I do wonder...what would happen if they stopped trading oil? Would that lower the price? Why do we trade on it? Oil companies seem to be making way too much money on these wars that are going on...Is that what is happening? Are we at war because Mobil and Exxon want more money?
  • jreppoh 2011/04/12 20:58:26
    Yes
    jreppoh
    +1
    I think most of us will have to stop driving as much.
  • LeroyRogers 2011/04/12 17:52:27 (edited)
    No
    LeroyRogers
    Most people are too stupid to realize that if they slowed down, we would save millions of gallons of gas a day. Everyone bitches and moans about the price of gas, but look how people are driving-they're still doing 50-60 on streets, 80-100 on the freeways, when the light turns green they nail it like they're in a drag race. It's like gas is still $1 a gallon. And lets face it-most people are too stupid to realize that speeding doesn't really get you there and faster-you just sit at the red light longer.

    Not to mention that our economy will tank if gas goes that high. Remember-every single thing you buy gets to the store on a truck. And when fuel prices go up, delivery prices go up, and that makes product prices go up.
  • AngieLeeRosales 2011/04/12 15:46:54
    Yes
    AngieLeeRosales
    +2
    around town and for unnessary stuff, most def! I'll start walking and/or buy a bike!

    But for school...I think I'll be stuck driving the 1.5 hour drive both ways, unless I can find cheap housing off campus :/
  • mada10 2011/04/12 15:33:37
  • Meng 2011/04/12 13:07:44
    Yes
    Meng
    +2
    I certainly hope so. Gas goes from $8-10 here in China. We all need to switch over to public transportation. Who cares that you can't drive your HumV down to the video store, did you really need it for the treacherous suburban terrain anyways?
  • JanHopkins Meng 2011/04/28 06:25:02
    JanHopkins
    We don't all have access to public transportation.
  • Meng JanHopkins 2011/04/28 07:07:46
    Meng
    My point exactly. The mountains of money we spend on cars could be diverted into developing clean, efficient public transportation as well as fully electric cars.
  • JanHopkins Meng 2011/04/28 07:18:51
    JanHopkins
    +2
    That might work for city dwellers but not out in the country.
  • Meng JanHopkins 2011/04/28 07:47:09
    Meng
    Really? Electric-powered cars don't work in rural areas? My hometown is a rural town in Maine, and, if memory serves, we have electricity there.
  • JanHopkins Meng 2011/04/28 15:47:11
    JanHopkins
    +2
    First of all, do you know how electricity is made? Second, the electrical grid is already strained to the max. Third, I was refering to public transportation. Do you think they will ever send buses out to farm country? Fourth, I've seen one electric car here, buzzing about in the summer, but never in the winter. Hmmmm? Fifth, the kids would never fit in the back seat ( if it even has one ). Sixth, wrecking the economy in the interest of ecology is not the way to bring in money to rebuild a new greener infrastructure.
  • Meng JanHopkins 2011/04/29 04:38:42
    Meng
    +1
    Electricity isn't "made", it's harnessed. What's your point? Who cares if the electrical grid is strained. Strain it. We've hit the oil peak and have maybe 30-40 years left and then nothing. I suppose you'll say that's not a strain? Actually, lots of rural areas have budding public transportation. If more money were spent on public transportation, more could be developed. As I said, however, public transportation AND electric cars. Stop trying to divide the two as if we can only have one, it's a fallacious argument. Are you trying to say that electric cars don't work in the winter? My 62-year old mother drives hers around Maine even in the deepest winters with no problem. My younger sister often borrows the vehicle and picks up 3-4 of her friends, then drives around for hours. There are so many types of electric-powered vehicles, even SUVs. Some of them go quite fast. Tesla Motors makes a line of sporty cars http://www.teslamotors.com/ worth checking out.

    Last-- who cares about the economy???? We are destroying the earth. Global climate change is a fact, not a theory, accepted by every scientist on the planet. Screw your economy, save the planet. I guess you don't care if your children have to walk around in space suits, as long as you can save money on gas...
    Electricity isn't "made", it's harnessed. What's your point? Who cares if the electrical grid is strained. Strain it. We've hit the oil peak and have maybe 30-40 years left and then nothing. I suppose you'll say that's not a strain? Actually, lots of rural areas have budding public transportation. If more money were spent on public transportation, more could be developed. As I said, however, public transportation AND electric cars. Stop trying to divide the two as if we can only have one, it's a fallacious argument. Are you trying to say that electric cars don't work in the winter? My 62-year old mother drives hers around Maine even in the deepest winters with no problem. My younger sister often borrows the vehicle and picks up 3-4 of her friends, then drives around for hours. There are so many types of electric-powered vehicles, even SUVs. Some of them go quite fast. Tesla Motors makes a line of sporty cars http://www.teslamotors.com/ worth checking out.

    Last-- who cares about the economy???? We are destroying the earth. Global climate change is a fact, not a theory, accepted by every scientist on the planet. Screw your economy, save the planet. I guess you don't care if your children have to walk around in space suits, as long as you can save money on gas. Wake up and smell the real world. People always talk about environmental problems as a future thing but it's not the future anymore. It's now. We are living in a time when we don't know quite how future generations will survive, much less flourish.
    (more)
  • JanHopkins Meng 2011/04/29 10:07:40
    JanHopkins
    +1
    Boy have you been brainwashed. The majority of electricity is made by burning coal. How good is that for your children? A portion of it is made with nuclear power. They have not even established a safe place to store the spent and radioactive fuel rods. How good is that for your children? You are just trading one hazard for another. And haveing the audacity to preach like a bible thumper about the safety of electric vehicles. Lets not forget the hazards of those huge lead based batteries. Lead is toxic to the environment when mining for it and smelting it and it leeches back into the soil.
  • Meng JanHopkins 2011/04/29 11:23:25
    Meng
    +1
    Are you trying to tell me that oil is safer than coal so we shouldn't use electricity, that we should keep driving our Hummers to the video store? Neither coal nor oil is safe. Oil is used for a good deal more than just cars. Nuclear power isn't safe. There is another option, say, oh, I don't know--GREEN energy. Solar, wind, and other green energies could provide more than all the energy the entire world needs. Stop trying to sidetrack and just focus on the issue--stop driving oil-powered cars. I know you want to avoid the issue because you live in a bubble where you think you can sustain a consumer lifestyle forever without caring about what is happening to the planet. This way of life is ending, and there's nothing you can do about it but change and adapt with the rest of us, or wither and die. The simple fact is, if the money we put into cars and the oil to power them instead into green energy and public transportation, we would never need to have this conversation.
  • JanHopkins Meng 2011/04/29 15:30:52
    JanHopkins
    How much of this "green" infrastructure exsists right now? Do you really believe that crushing the economy with high gas prices will somehow magically make the funds appear to enlarge a "green" infrastructure? Tell me exactly how this will occur?
  • Meng JanHopkins 2011/05/01 10:57:19
    Meng
    Okay-- once again since you haven't been paying attention the last few times I've said it:

    The infrastructure doesn't exist because nobody is funding it. It will take more money to develop but will save both money and the earth in the long run. It will provide cheap, clean, sustainable energy for everybody. What funds don't exist? What are you talking about? We have all sorts of money for projects like this, but we'd rather spend money on our military empire.
  • JanHopkins Meng 2011/05/01 19:32:12
    JanHopkins
    I can't wait to see what happens when America drops her armaments and spends all it's money on your dreams. The rest of the world will stand by like docile sheep, respecting that this is a good thing designed to help all of humanity.
  • Meng JanHopkins 2011/05/02 02:50:02
    Meng
    ...? Because the rest of the world is just waiting to pounce on the US? We spend more on our military than the rest of the world combined. We have the largest empire in history--1300 military bases worldwide in around 200 countries. We have 50,000 troops just in Germany-- and that war ended 60 years ago. I can't wait to see what happens when nobody spends any money developing this and there's no more oil, no more water... oh let's see I guess we all DIE. In 10 years there will be no denying our oil is running out, and the wars that result will make the middle east look like a quiet little skirmish. Oh and who said the US is the only country that can do it? So ethnocentric.
  • JanHopkins Meng 2011/05/02 02:58:06
    JanHopkins
    Oh god! Theres no more water! help! Help! You extremists are so funny. Crack open a cold brew and take a lude.
  • Meng JanHopkins 2011/05/02 03:22:58
    Meng
    Are you serious? Our water IS running out--fact. That's not a theory. That is accepted by ALL scientists on the planet. Were you unaware that human presence on the planet has wrought immeasurable damage to the environment?

    Our oceans and rivers are filled with waste. Many rivers are so polluted that we can't eat the fish that live in them. Here in China, rivers are drying out. The Yellow and Yangtze Rivers are almost gone. 40% of all wells in India are dried up. There are already wars over water, like in northern Africa, where there are tribal disputes basically over survival.

    You can hide away in your bubble but eventually the real world will knock on your door.
  • JanHopkins Meng 2011/05/02 03:28:33
    JanHopkins
    China has the income to do something about their rivers drying up.Didn't they just build a big dan on the Yangtze river? The River here, Just two blocks away from me is the same as it's been for the last 60 years. What did you guys in China do to make your rivers dry up?
  • Meng JanHopkins 2011/05/02 04:13:53
    Meng
    I'm NOT from China!!! WTF. You do know that there are people living in China who aren't Chinese, right? You do know that, from time to time, Americans leave the US for work, right? I don't mean to get belligerent but I'm tired of people assuming that I'm Chinese.

    Yes, China is the most polluted country on the planet, hands down. I have lived most of my life in Maine and New York--my hometown has 1000 people. Every day I've been here I've missed clean air and organic vegetables. I wish I could do my work here but live in the US. The pollution is a huge part of the reason I'm here. I am in the trenches, because I think that the future of the world is the friendship between the US and China. I think that, together, we can build a green future. I don't think we have to live in a cyberpunk dystopia when it's unsafe to breathe the air, drink the water, eat the food, etc.

    Nowhere is the same as it used to be, even in my hometown in Maine. We're getting the updraft of smog that comes from New York and Long Island Sound. There are 100,000s of jumping carp in the Mississippi River that are so full of mercury that they are inedible. The Gulf Coast, for Christ's sake. I could go on and on but to say that the US is the same as it was 60 years ago is ridiculous.

    China did the sam...
    I'm NOT from China!!! WTF. You do know that there are people living in China who aren't Chinese, right? You do know that, from time to time, Americans leave the US for work, right? I don't mean to get belligerent but I'm tired of people assuming that I'm Chinese.

    Yes, China is the most polluted country on the planet, hands down. I have lived most of my life in Maine and New York--my hometown has 1000 people. Every day I've been here I've missed clean air and organic vegetables. I wish I could do my work here but live in the US. The pollution is a huge part of the reason I'm here. I am in the trenches, because I think that the future of the world is the friendship between the US and China. I think that, together, we can build a green future. I don't think we have to live in a cyberpunk dystopia when it's unsafe to breathe the air, drink the water, eat the food, etc.

    Nowhere is the same as it used to be, even in my hometown in Maine. We're getting the updraft of smog that comes from New York and Long Island Sound. There are 100,000s of jumping carp in the Mississippi River that are so full of mercury that they are inedible. The Gulf Coast, for Christ's sake. I could go on and on but to say that the US is the same as it was 60 years ago is ridiculous.

    China did the same thing, but they have different circumstances. Although they have an uninterrupted 5000 years of history, they are still developing. The thing is, they are developing now really really quickly, and it's dirty development. They are building a new coal-burning plant every 5 days on average. The rivers are drying up from being diverted for a host of useless tasks, including irrigating lawns. If you want me to keep going I could write about China's pollution for days--4 of the world's 10 most polluted cities are here. Like I said, this is a battleground for me. Ground zero.
    (more)
  • JanHopkins Meng 2011/05/02 04:21:47
    JanHopkins
    How about all that hard work put in in the last 60 years on ecology. According to you the more money we invest in it the worse conditions have gotten. Explain that to me will you? LA has had some of the most stringent anti pollution laws. Is the air improved?
  • Meng JanHopkins 2011/05/02 04:46:09
    Meng
    Actually, in the last 10 years, the air in LA has slightly improved. The sky isn't quite as purple as it once was.

    But generally, things aren't really getting better, they are getting worse, for sure. We're just trying to slow it down. I mean, scientists know now that we have already done severe damage to the environment that will take generations to clean up. That doesn't mean there isn't more damage happening every day though. If we could find a little Dutch boy to put his finger in the dike, that would be great, but it's just not the real world.
  • JanHopkins Meng 2011/05/02 05:22:35
    JanHopkins
    Yes. In the real world people don't get payed enough to support the prohibitive price of gasoline OR the rediculous price of an electric car. In the real world people don't get government grants to study the mating habits of carp. In the real world people get up in the morning, throw on their work boots grab, a cup of joe and head out for work.In the real world people break their bodies to make enough money to support themselves and their family. In the real world most folks never go too far from home because it just costs too much. In the real world people shut off their lights, turn down their thermostat and try to make ends meet. That's not enough for the jet set though. They expend fuel going all over the world trying to prove that WE are responsible for all the problems of the earth. Do you wear clothing? How many carbon credits did that cost us? Do you use soap and deoderant? How much fuel was expended for that? Keep your little Dutch boy anjd your holier than thou PC BS. I bet more fuel was expended to get your butt to China than I've used in my entire life.
  • Meng JanHopkins 2011/05/02 16:46:18
    Meng
    Yes, in the real world we are all too apathetic to do anything about it. There are billions of dollars sitting around that could be used to develop these things but instead we let the Powers That Be use them to build more useless things for the military. Stop talking about the "real world" like you're the only one that lives in it, it sounds a bit solipsistic. Stop being so defeatist about everything, stop attacking the people that are trying to solve the problems. Saying that the people who fight to protect the environment are responsible for destroying it merely because they use the same things you do is so backwards it's not even funny. Come back tomorrow when you can argue without fallacy, without resorting to ad hominem, and without praying to the mighty altars of platitude and vitriol.
  • JanHopkins Meng 2011/05/02 17:14:58
    JanHopkins
    In the real world The military just wasted money on eliminating Osama . In the real world I use less resources than you do because I can't afford to transport myself around the globe, buy new clothes and new vehicles. In the real world when I have to replace a faucet it's just a faucet but the wealthy get a surrond shower. Funny how those with money are always the ones promoting saving water but they use the most.
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