Gas prices burn holes in students pockets

By Tom Stillwagon |Staff Writer|

The price of gas has likely gone up in your town again this past week. You aren’t alone; the entire nation is facing this dilemma.

Gas prices are currently averaging $4.35 per gallon in San Bernardino for regular unleaded. This is up from a national average of $3.27 in December 2011.

Students are feeling the extra burden on their wallets. Justin Lamb, student commuter from Riverside, is no exception.

“My mom, she would give me some gas money each week,” said Lamb. “It used to last me all week, like 15 or 20 bucks, I could get through a week, week and a half. Now gas is like $4.30 everywhere you go. I can’t even go four or five days driving back and forth to school, you know. It sucks.”

Student Ashley Carter acknowledges that the gas prices have caused her grief.

“Within a week it jumped like 50 cents where I get gas,” said Carter. “I don’t make much money, so I don’t get to spend it on things that I want to spend it on. It’s going straight to bills and that’s about it. I have no leftover money. It’s gone [too] fast.”

Carter, who also lives in Riverside, presumes that most students are hit by the increase in gas prices, given that CSUSB is largely a commuter school.

“I hear other people drive out from Perris, Palm Springs and Victorville too,” she said.

For the students that do live close by, there are alternatives. They can save on gas by riding a bike to school, or walking. San Bernardino and Riverside counties also have public transportation options.

Omnitrans buses in San Bernardino cover San Bernardino, Chino, Colton, Fontana, Loma Linda, Montclair, Ontario, Redlands, Rialto and Rancho Cucamonga, among others. They offer free rides all year to any CSUSB students carrying a valid student ID.

With the price of gasoline in a continuous state of flux, many Americans begin to question why this is happening.

Bernie Sanders is the longest serving independent member of congress representing Vermont. In a statement released by CNN, Sanders said Americans are wrong about their assumptions that supply and demand are the problem.

“The supply of oil and gasoline is higher today than it was three years ago when the national average for a gallon of gasoline was just $1.90,” said Sanders. “The demand for oil in the U.S. is at its lowest level since April of 1997. The culprit is Wall Street.”

The role of the Wall Street speculator comes into play.

“Oil speculators… speculate the price of oil based on incoming information such as increased demand in China and a possible war in Iran,” according to journalist Amanda Melodini of Investhelp.com.

The more uncertainty there is the higher the price of oil will be based on their predictions. However, because these speculators have an incentive to see higher oil prices they over-speculate costing you as much as $750 per year at the pump.”

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