June 1, 2007

Why Rising Gas Prices are Good in Some Ways

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On May 18, USA Today published an article titled, “Fed-up drivers begin to look ‘outside the box.’” The article outlined some of the many ways Americans are coping with rapidly rising gasoline prices. While oil companies unfairly rake in record profits at the expense of the American people, these difficult price increases may be beneficial for the country in the long term. With peaking oil fields, record growth in China and India, and unrest in the Middle East, oil prices will not go down. Americans need to face that fact eventually; now is as good a time as any.
Rising prices are forcing Americans to conserve energy and seek sustainable alternatives. Gasoline costs reaching nearly $400 a month are breathing new life into carpooling and public transportation. People are better organizing their shopping trips and choosing hybrid cars or bicycles over gas guzzling SUVs. The economic hardship brought on by price hikes will be detrimental to average Americans in the short term, but the accompanying societal changes may safeguard our country from an energy crisis in coming years.