How are higher gas prices affecting you?

Not everybody laments gas prices that could approach $4 a gallon, AJC reporter Dan Chapman writes.

He then cites some of the winners from higher prices — including oil companies, bike shops, MARTA, rail freight companies, alternative energy firms and even the state of Georgia, which is likely to gain higher gas-tax revenues this summer.

But average consumers are taking it on the chin.

How are higher prices affecting you? What are you doing to cope? Car pooling? Telecommuting? Staying close to home for vacation?

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

66 comments Add your comment

greg

March 22nd, 2011
7:45 am

This is just Wall Street ripping us off again, Japan which is the third world’s largest economy has not been using much of any gas since the earth quake and still the gas prices go up. Washington and the Attorney General are as useful as teats on a bull, worthless all. Now I hear the moron Deal is going to make it mandatory for emission testing throughout the state (they get four bucks for every test done) even though no one messes with their emission system and the airport puts out more pollution in a day than the entire state in a year. Liars, cheats and thieves, off with their heads.

Iconoclast

March 22nd, 2011
7:55 am

Telecommuting? What’s that? It’s not something my office enjoys, even though the infrastructure exists to accommodate it. We answer to a boss who has no trouble barking orders from his Blackberry while he’s on the links, but work from home and save money on fuel and time in traffic? No way! People have to be in their seats, where they can be seen, otherwise work might not be getting done! How long, bozo, until your bottom line would reflect sloth and neglect?

And we do business, lots of it, with the State of Georgia! If only the state mandated that it’s consulting vendors have in-place a functioning teleworking policy, imagine what taking a couple of hundred cars off the congested streets could do a couple of times a week? Now multiply that by all the companies’ staff adding to the traffic jams twice-a-day! It wouldn’t cost anyone an extra penny to facilitate teleworking and increases disposable income AND employee morale with the stroke of a pen.

Fletch

March 22nd, 2011
8:18 am

Personally, I would like to see increases across the board that will reflect where we SHOULD be. people have been paying bargain basement prices for everything from food to fuel to textiles, that when prices begin to rise, they scream injustice. The reality is that for the last 30 years, we as a country have demanded cheap, cheap cheap and more credit, credit, credit until we basically spent ourselves into a hole while at the same time destroying our manufacturing base and decimated the middle class. if the costs of goods and services were adjusted upwards to where they should be, then people would be forced to live within their means. Freely translated, if you make $30,000 a year, you live within your budget. The reality is that not everyone is entitled to several flat screen tvs, Iphones, Ipads, Xfinity a 3,000 sq ft home and a brand new car every 3 years. If you earn enough to pay for those items, go for it. If you don’t, you need to strive to either live within your income bracket, or improve your skills so that you can move up the income chain.

greg

March 22nd, 2011
8:18 am

Ironclast the two of the main contributors to the state crooks (deal and company) are road builders and insurance companies and also accident attorneys’ who would make much less money if you were to work from home. Why do you think they do everything in their power to keep trains away from metro Atlanta? How’s about no more campaign contributions then you will see changes as it is now, they are but pimps for the companies that are the Johns and guess who the prostitutes are?

Roswell

March 22nd, 2011
8:32 am

Just don’t see much positive about the rising gas prices. I respresent a large consumer goods company and travel the SE. Since I’m an independent rep, I pay for my own travel expenses. NOT GOOD. The cost to deliver our products to our customers is climbing.,…and as a result the cost at retail is also rising. NOT GOOD. Increasing prices for basic needs leads affects consumer confidence. NOT GOOD. Looks like “double dip recession”………NOT GOOD.

Buzz G

March 22nd, 2011
8:46 am

Obama and his tree-hugging buddies got what they wanted, and responsible people everywhere will be paying the price for some time to come. That’s hope and change for ya.

Kelly

March 22nd, 2011
8:57 am

“How’s about no more campaign contributions then you will see changes as it is now, they are but pimps for the companies that are the Johns and guess who the prostitutes are?”

Greg, this is awesome! Thanks for making my day:)

Allie F.

March 22nd, 2011
9:15 am

Just more government conspiracy! We have an administration that is out of control and totally lacking in leadership and management skills. This is a travesty against all Americans. I will guarantee you the refineries cannot process what oil they have – it is all bunk….just go ask an independent oilman!

Not only are there no jobs, Americans are losing their homes, life savings, health care and NOW, you are forcing us to choose gas over providing food for our families. Enough.

Squidly

March 22nd, 2011
9:20 am

If the liberal tree huggers would stop whining about protecting their precious ecosystems, we wouldn’t have these high prices. We could drill our way into being a self-sufficient nation and not have to depend on foreign oil!

It’s the liberals and environmentalists who are keeping oil prices high with their stubborn, illogical policies. If we could drill any place where there’s oil, prices would stay low.

rhymes with orange

March 22nd, 2011
9:39 am

“We have met the enemy, and he is us.” – Pogo

It is as simple as supply and demand. Unless producers (the Saudis) increase supply, or demand (Japan, but only temporarily) drops; prices are vulnerable to spikes. U.S. consumers are still way too levered up financially and lifestyle-wise, so we get whipsawed by geopolitical events. Those people who have kept some margin in their lives will have a better buffer against such things. In the end, to parapharse George Herbert, “living [within your means] is the best revenge.”

Like it or not, America’s culture and economy are built on gasoline/diesel-fueled transportation. Hey, it has brought us a long way. We do make adjustments, but they take time to implement. Anyone care to remember the typical mpg for a car in the late ’70s? Solving big problems with innovative, game-changing solutions is what America does best. Perhaps the most significant way – and the quickest way – for the U.S. to change the oil equation would be a major structural shift to natural gas: we have LOTS of it right here. Also, if you haven’t noticed, wind and solar are making meaningful contributions to our national energy supply, and they haven’t really hit the big inflection point yet.

As consumers, we vent our frustrations yelling about “them” – Wall St. or Government or some particular industry – anything to take the spotlight off of ourselves. In the end, we adapt, conserve, make other choices. Americans drove significantly less in 2008 (Great Recession) which contributed to gas prices dropping from >$4.00 the last time (look it up: Federal Highway Adminiatration has the data). It was inconvenient, but it cut the cost of gas in half.

Who knows? Maybe these gas prices tip us back into recession (it’s close, folks) and reduced demand will lead to price moderation. I think I would rather pay the $4, on the whole.

Aquagirl

March 22nd, 2011
9:55 am

Ah, the oil addicts are screaming for their fix. Sorry, I’ve subsidized the SUV lifestyle for many, many years, including a stint in the military to procure your cheap oil. Buying a McMansion in the exurbs is not a birthright. This is not sustainable, y’all need to adjust to reality.

luangtom

March 22nd, 2011
9:59 am

Big oil, its investors, and the government officials that prohibit domestic drilling ALL profit from the higher gas prices. We should be less dependent upon foreign oil now than we were a decade ago. But, no, those in power, be they Democrat or Republican, have seen to it that we do not tap our native reserves and extract oil from locations within our borders. We should be utilizing the Bakken Oil Shale field NOW, not three to five years down the road. Profits would not have been high enough, so we let it sit idle and now environmental concerns over-ride common-sense and we still pay for foreign oil. Tax-payers and consumers are the biggest losers. Period.

We will be driven back into a spiral downward economically. High gas-prices will just add fuel to the fire and drive up consumer-prices, transportation costs and stifle any economic growth that we were to experience. Sad, when our own government is to blame.

TnGelding

March 22nd, 2011
10:08 am

It isn’t. We don”t drive that much anymore.

Supply and demand? Surely you jest. They’re running out of places to store the crude.

We libs aren’t prohibiting drilling. The oil companies have rights to millions of acres but choose not to exercise it.

It’s the speculators, stupid!

Aquagirl

March 22nd, 2011
10:11 am

Look, people, there are no magical fields of cheap oil in our country. Drilling restrictions aren’t to blame for oil prices. Processing shale to get the oil requires WATER. The western states don’t have enough of that already, start using it for oil production and watch your food prices skyrocket.

It’s also a nasty process, which can contaminate groundwater and possibly–no kidding folks—cause earthquakes.

Laurie

March 22nd, 2011
10:18 am

The saying goes “no pain, no gain”. $4/gallon gas is painful, but will lead to lower demand, which will lead to lower gas prices. And if prices don’t go down fast enough, people will change their behavior to lessen our dependance on fossil fuel. It won’t be fun, but we’ll be better for it in the long run.

ed

March 22nd, 2011
10:22 am

Wouldn’t you like to know how much money Chelsea Clinton and her husband, both Wall Streeters, are raking in while mama Hillary stirs the oil ot in the Middle East. In addition, European banks who received OUR stimulas money are using it to manipulate huge profits. Then there’s the major bank based in Atlanta which is repaying $5 Billion of stimulas money. Wow! How did they become so profitable, so quickly in this economy. OIL AND STOCKS!

Sell Liquor on SUNDAYS

March 22nd, 2011
10:25 am

We will never see “$2-something” gas prices ever again.

Despite the high gas prices, 85 was flooded with cars during my work commute very early Saturday morning, going god knows where. The gas prices have not deterred us from frivilous use and spending. So whoever is profiting will continue to do so.

Chess

March 22nd, 2011
10:26 am

To make a comment on such serious topic and then preface it with “tree hugging liberals” shows me the lack of intel and simple logic lacking on this board to even begin a discussion.

michelle

March 22nd, 2011
10:27 am

“Squidly: If the liberal tree huggers would stop whining about protecting their precious ecosystems, we wouldn’t have these high prices. We could drill our way into being a self-sufficient nation and not have to depend on foreign oil!

It’s the liberals and environmentalists who are keeping oil prices high with their stubborn, illogical policies. If we could drill any place where there’s oil, prices would stay low.”

GIMME GIMME GIMME NOW NOW NOW!!!!! To hell with anything but my selfish oil addiction, I need it, give it to me no matter what the cost. It’s there to be drilled, to hell with any ecosystem that takes centuries or thousands of years to create, ITS ALL ABOUT ME.

Shut UP!!

Sell Liquor on SUNDAYS

March 22nd, 2011
10:34 am

“The saying goes “no pain, no gain”. $4/gallon gas is painful, but will lead to lower demand, which will lead to lower gas prices. And if prices don’t go down fast enough, people will change their behavior to lessen our dependance on fossil fuel. It won’t be fun, but we’ll be better for it in the long run.”
————————————————-

Sounds like you’re living in a fantasy world. Very few people are changing their habits.

Sell Liquor on SUNDAYS

March 22nd, 2011
10:37 am

Clearly Squidly is not of this earth since it has no regard to its surroundings or those generations who will need to use these “precious ecosystems” in the future.

ethanol costs more

March 22nd, 2011
10:40 am

Anyone who thinks ethanol is even a help to the problem is foolish. Studies have shown over and over that it costs more and uses more energy to produce ethanol than it proposes to save. Throw in the rise in food prices, costs to repair your car from using ethanol (yeah ask your mechanic), ethanol is just another scam to line a politicians pocket. If solar energy was a solition don’t you think that tens of thousands of homes each month would be adding it ,especially in view of the tax breaks available. Yes speculators are a big cause of spiking prices, but so is our governments refusal to get real and do something about it. Think if we worked hard at it since Jimmy Carter days we would have found a reasonable solution by now?

pete

March 22nd, 2011
10:41 am

what a crock of poo.U know if electric cars were on the market as cheap as they are in other countries we would not consume half the oil and gas we consume now.Our goverment is letting wall street and oil companies force feed us oil and gas.Who benefits!

ethanol costs more

March 22nd, 2011
10:46 am

Forgot to include this linl and study from Cornell University, plenty more out there just google them

The government spends more than $3 billion a year to subsidize ethanol production when it does not provide a net energy balance or gain, is not a renewable energy source or an economical fuel. Further, its production and use contribute to air, water and soil pollution and global warming,” Pimentel says. He points out that the vast majority of the subsidies do not go to farmers but to large ethanol-producing corporations.

“Ethanol production in the United States does not benefit the nation’s energy security, its agriculture, economy or the environment,” says Pimentel. “Ethanol production requires large fossil energy input, and therefore, it is contributing to oil and natural gas imports and U.S. deficits.” He says the country should instead focus its efforts on producing electrical energy from photovoltaic cells, wind power and burning biomass and producing fuel from hydrogen conversion.

http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/July05/ethanol.toocostly.ssl.html

Scooter (The Original)

March 22nd, 2011
10:52 am

Consumers will take it on the other chin and both cheeks if we continue taking corn out of the supply chains of soooooo many other products to make biofuels. Which still produce CO2, but make us feel good while the price of other products increase because we’ve reduced their corn supplies. But I guess more demand for corn improves the revenues of corn farmers. Perhaps our economic central planners don’t care because they are certain of our species extinction due to global climate change. Or, they want to further enrich themselves by gaming another system they helped create.

High oil prices also benefit the nations that have oil reserves and a willingness to extract it. It seems some political leaders want to extract oil from foreign sources where environmental controls are less and other nations are enriched at our expense. Say, how many people do we think have visited the coastal plain (flat area) that was reserved for oil extraction and comprises a small percentage of The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge? Yup, those resources would be coming on line soon had we started in 2006. But hey, I’m filling tank with hope and feeding my family with change.

ed

March 22nd, 2011
10:53 am

Ethonol has ruined the carbuerator in my lawn mower. Think what it’s doing to the engine in your car. Environmentalists have distributed a crock cooked up and financed by the oil producing (OPEC) nations. The green heads are owned lock, stock and barrel by the likes of Saudi Arabia.Consumers have been taken for suckers for three decades.

pete

March 22nd, 2011
10:55 am

gas is cash cow for the ones that own it and sell it!This is a great example of what consumers dont need.Our first auto did not use petro it used steam water.

stives

March 22nd, 2011
10:58 am

The question should be is, why are the FTC and the President’s Administration continue to let America be the loser of paying high prices for a mere gallon of gas which is nothing. America consumers are tired of being rip-off by countires having their own problems. Gas should never go over a dollar a gallon and no body is actually complaining about it on the Hill in Washington. We need stand up and stop paying these high prices for gas when we actually have our own. We are being cheated at the hand of big oil companies who actually got a gallon of gas to reach the $2.00 mark and it has not gone down yet! It time America take a stand against high gas prices and we should not be burden with paying it when problems arises in other countries!

Greg

March 22nd, 2011
11:13 am

The problem..gas, food, products all go up but businesses do not pay increases. The result it less money for consumers, therefore, people buy less. Businesses then lay off people. Problem: All big businesses want their cake and eat it too. Big Oil, Airlines, etc cannot continue to price gouge and expect the bubble not to burst.

This country is just greedy along with its foreign counterparts. Amercians are being fleeced into oblivion. We all know it, and the sad thing is there is nothing to stop it. Politicians are being paid off. Stop saying they are not when they are caught all of the time. We cannot simply say…we will no longer take oil. We need it. We are dependent on it. Electric vehicles? A farce…only the rich can afford these 40k plus cars…and then the government subsidizes the rich for buying them.

This country needs to simply stop shamming the people. It seems the trend is to turn this country in the rich and the poor. No Middle class required.

pete

March 22nd, 2011
11:13 am

I also question why the Bush administration let gas prices get so out of control.Then a new president came in gas prices went down,even in war time for a whole 2 years gas prices stayed the same, well 2009 and 2010.Then 2011 elections brought us new gas prices again.

pete

March 22nd, 2011
11:20 am

Greg u said a mouth full thank u!and those same electric cars are sold in other countries for less than 5 grand, we will never see this , because they will make us buy oil until there is not another drop.

Corey

March 22nd, 2011
11:23 am

Buzz, how do you explain $4+ gas prices back in 2008 before Obama was elected? Do you have selective amnesha now that a D is in front of the POTUS’s name?

ChillWill

March 22nd, 2011
11:35 am

Oh gimme a break. Looking at gas prices over the last 35 years they are not high but are where they normally are. We’ve just been enjoying cheap gas lately. Americans are such whiners. The government needs to tax gas to ensure that it stays at about $5/gal

pete

March 22nd, 2011
11:36 am

Deal is the one taxing ur petro, he really knows how to look out for the peoples best interest, go corporations.

Ima Oil Crook

March 22nd, 2011
11:37 am

Big oil=big crooked thieves! Big oil = paying off crooked political thieves to stay crooked thieves!!!

Greg

March 22nd, 2011
11:39 am

Before the war gas was 1.59…during the war 2, then 3 then 4. Obama got in and it dropped to 2.09. No its on the rise again. Why? Someone has to pay for all of the damage that the wars cause. The Arab Oil Companies are soaking us for our governments intervention. I agree..if we are going to be a country that desires oil we need to get it out of the ground on our own soil and tell the foreign countries to pound sand!

Greg

March 22nd, 2011
11:40 am

should read: Now its on the rise again

pete

March 22nd, 2011
11:46 am

they do not want to drill on our soil,then they can not go to war and the arms dealers would not make any money.Somebody has to buy the weapons its all propaganda.

Greg

March 22nd, 2011
11:55 am

Pete…so true. Plus the prices would be lower and then the folks who game the stocks would not make any big paydays to pay for yachts and french riviera trips… Oh the humanity…!!

clowns to the left, jokers to the right

March 22nd, 2011
11:59 am

you’re an idiot if you think the price of oil is entirely based on supply and demand. the majority the price movement comes from speculation on ICE and NYMEX. Once again, its controlled by the top 1%, which in turn controls (pays off) the politicians, which in turn keeps the bottom 99% in check so as not to upset the top 1%. drilling more or less will have no effect on the price of oil!!!!

Greg

March 22nd, 2011
12:04 pm

Clowns to the left…you are right…I kinda said that in my post above yours….

Greg

March 22nd, 2011
12:06 pm

But I do think that drilling in the US..would lower the price somewhat. Shipping, having OPEC price fix…goes into pricing too. I agree that the percentage that speculation may not drop but prices would be lower because of the factors that I have listed..

Liz

March 22nd, 2011
12:33 pm

I never thought a Honda Accord could take $40.00 to fill!!!

Middle Class

March 22nd, 2011
12:53 pm

WE are spending hundreds of Billions of dollars, of our TAX MONEY for the military to police the middle east. Then Billions more on oil. People in the middle east HATE US.
Bring that money home and spend it on American companies that make solar panels, wind/water turbines, biofuels (not necessarily ethanol) and RENEWABLE ENERGY RESEARCH. Who cares if it takes 15 years for a solar cell to pay for itself? It still will over time. We take the money out of their pockets and put it back into ours. Why can’t we do the smart thing?

TnGelding

March 22nd, 2011
12:57 pm

OPEC can only control the price by reducing or increasing supply. The oil companies don’t want to invest what it would take to increase supply in the USA when they can get it cheper elsewhere. Alaska is ripping us off worse than OPEC. We could reduce our demand over night with modest lifestyle changes. If we really got serious we could reduce it 40-50%. I hope none of you are using your flat screen TVs as picture frames. Our waste of natural resources is sickening. What gets me is people that can’t even pay their utility bills waste the most.

I never fill up anymore. $20 at a time! It might be cheaper tomorrow.

Short of nationalizing the oil companies, there’s really nothing Obama can do other than ground AF1 and fire half of his SS detail. I would like to see some kind of symbolic gesture though like Jimmie continues to be ridiculed for.

TnGelding

March 22nd, 2011
1:01 pm

Our tax money isn’t being used. It barely convers 2/3 of expenses, if that. The Treasury Department and Federal Reserve are financing it with printing presses, smoke and mirrors and the good faith and credit of the government.

TnGelding

March 22nd, 2011
1:18 pm

Keeping our government running:

NEW YORK | Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:26pm EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Moody’s Investors Service warned on Thursday that lack of U.S. government action on the budget deficit increases the likelihood of a negative outlook on the country’s top AAA credit rating.

The Moody’s report, which came hours after a downgrade of Japan by Standard & Poor’s and an IMF warning on growing budget deficits in both countries, reiterated previous comments made by the agency late last year.

Moody’s had said in December that the extension of Bush-era tax cuts would add to the likelihood of a negative outlook on the U.S. rating in the next two years. (The main culprit!!!)

Lower debt ratings typically push up a country’s borrowing costs. A negative outlook makes a rating downgrade more likely in the next 12 to 18 months. (Not good!!!)

(AAA, who would have thunk it? The GOP says we’re bankrupt. Which one is “right?”)

complain

March 22nd, 2011
1:18 pm

Complain complain…did yall know the US has some of the cheapest gas prices in the WORLD! Other places in the world charge up to $10 per gallon…stop buying SUV and Trucks if you cant afford the gas for them….walk/take the bus/bike/or take the train…

TnGelding

March 22nd, 2011
1:20 pm

TnGelding

March 22nd, 2011
1:26 pm

…or stay home! And most of that additional “charge” is a tax.

“Who’s paying what: Most Europeans, including the British, the Irish, the Germans, the Italians and the French, pay somewhere between $7.50 and $8 per gallon, according to the International Energy Administration.”

http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/10/news/international/gas_prices_worldwide/index.htm