Rising Gasoline Prices Affect Drivers All Over the Country

Allison Martin, Staff Writer

   Rising gas prices in California and throughout the United States have been causing teen drivers to become concerned about the possibility of not being able to afford to drive anymore. 

   According to Business Insider, “In California, the average cost of a gallon of gas is currently 4.71 dollars, the highest in the nation. A few weeks ago, the prices here broke a record that was set in 2012 and has only continued to inch up since” (businessinsider.com).

   The main reason gas is so expensive in California is because of the high taxes at the pump. According to a Los Angeles news outlet, “Californians are paying at least $1.18 cents per gallon in taxes and fees alone, an analysis by Irvine based researchers Stillwater Associates found.” This includes 51 cents in state tax, and 39 cents in environmental fee per gallon (ktla.com).

   AP Environmental Science Teacher Sean Stevenson remarked why California has more expensive gas prices than the rest of the United States. “Part of it is because we have cleaner fuel,” Stevenson said. “We need that cleaner fuel because in the summer time there is an issue with photochemical smog because of increased sunlight. [Our gas] is actually a special blend that decreases the amount of photochemical smog in the atmosphere.”

   Many young drivers, including some UC students, are beginning to rethink taking their drivers test, due to the expenses that come with owning a car, such as the price of gas. Freshman Hailey Ericksson stated, “Many teenagers don’t get their licenses these days. One of the reasons for that is because many teenagers and adults, in general, can not afford gas.”

   Another reason for gas prices to be so high is the COVID-19 pandemic. Business Insider said, “Americans have gotten back to driving more this summer as the pandemic has moderated, and a combination of domestic supply interruptions and trouble in energy markets overseas have made crude oil more expensive” (businessinsider.com).

   Crude oil that is used to make gas is also very expensive to mine and refine. “While rigs and refineries have quickly come back online since COVID-19, crude oil inventories remain low, suggesting an ongoing lack of supply” (businessinsider.com).

   The article also stated, “Energy Information Administration (EIA) wrote that as of late September, oil stored at Cushing, Oklahoma, one of the main crude depots in the US, was down 40 percent from the start of the year” (businessinsider.com).

   The EIA stated, “In mid-September, Hurricane Ida shut down a large swath of the US’s oil drilling and refining capacity in the Gulf of Mexico in late August” (businessinsider.com).

   Junior Jordyn Yanez is a driver at UC High and stated, “Gas prices are crazy high. Especially being a high school student and working a minimum wage job. It’s hard to pay for the gas. I really think we need to lower them.”

   At one of UC’s local gas stations, 76, the average gas price is 4.52 dollars, according to the 76 website (76.com).