Gas Prices Up: Will Public Accept Even Higher Pricing?

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore...

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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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Yesterday was a motorcycle day for me. We’re experiencing near-summer like temperatures with sun-filled skies, so I simply couldn’t resist taking the bike rather than hopping into the car. And the fact that the motorcycle returns fuel economy in the range of almost 50 miles per gallon didn’t hurt in helping make my choice, either.

Fuel economy will continue to be of paramount importance if gasoline prices keep up the trend they’ve demonstrated since the start of the year. The average price of a gallon of gasoline has risen more than a half-dollar this year, and now sits at $3.81 per gallon.

Four states – Alaska, California, Hawaii and Illinois – and Washington, D.C. already have average prices over $4 per gallon, and a number of other states – Oregon and Washington in the Pacific northwest; Connecticut and New York on the Atlantic coast – are in danger of being there soon.

A new Gallop poll found there’s room for higher gasoline prices, however. An average cost of $5.30 to $5.35 per gallon is the ultimate tipping point that sees a majority of Americans cutting back on spending in other areas or otherwise making significant changes in the way they live their lives.

Despite whatever room for increased prices Americans can tolerate, the poll also found that a majority of Americans, regardless of party, want President Obama and Congress to get involved.

85 percent of all residents, 90 percent of those that lean republican and 81 percent of those that lean democrat want to see “immediate actions to try to control the rising price of gas.”

However, that only 65% of Americans believe that the president and Congress can in fact take actions that would impact the cost of gasoline makes us wonder why drivers would want government action, when some obviously don’t believe it would ultimately have any benefits.

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