Another take on high gas prices : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread


"Gas prices surging, but still below record

WASHINGTON -- Gas prices have surged in the past 12 months, experiencing their biggest dollar increase in the past 30 years, according to a survey conducted for AAA.

Self-serve regular, unleaded gasoline averaged $1.54 per gallon nationwide, according to AAA's March Fuel Gauge Report released Tuesday.

With so many people feeling the pinch of the increasing cost of filling up the tank, some say the public is paying more for gasoline in the United States than ever before. But are gas prices really that high?

The answer is no. Current gasoline prices are not at record levels, not even close.

Just 13 months ago, gas prices were the lowest ever, after accounting for inflation. The national average price of a gallon of regular gasoline hit a low of 92 cents.

"When you adjust it for inflation, a year ago we were looking at gasoline prices that were cheaper than they had been during the Great Depression," said Daniel Yergin of the Cambridge Energy Research Associates. "So it was an extraordinary bargain."

That was then, this is now.

The average price of gasoline now is up to $1.54, higher than the $1.38 average in 1981.

But that 1981 price of $1.38 translates to $2.29 in today's dollars, adjusted for inflation, according to the Cambridge Energy Research Associates. And that price was, and still is, the highest-ever price paid for gasoline in the United States.

Since 1947, prices have consistently been between $1.30 and $1.50 per gallon in today's dollars, except for the big energy spike in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Prices for crude oil also show that today's prices are not records. In late 1998, crude oil prices collapsed to around $10 a barrel, a very low price, historically.

Crude prices then tripled to just under $30 a barrel. But the historic high was back in 1981 -- $70 a barrel -- when adjusted for inflation and measured in today's dollars.

A CNN poll shows two out of every five Americans say current gasoline prices are a hardship. Yet Americans keep buying gas-guzzling automobiles such as sport utility vehicles in record numbers.

That may be a contradiction, or it may be proof that gas prices are not that high after all."

-- Ken Decker (, April 24, 2000


What's your point. This is just a self serving puff piece for the oil industry. A 50 to 60% increase in gas prices is still a 50 to 60% increase and is still inflationary. And there is still no satisfactory explanation/justification for the increase.

-- Carl Jenkins (, April 24, 2000.

There may not be any satisfactory justification for the increase so don't get confused and equate this to Y2K. Ken's point is well taken; we've just grown accustomed to low gas prices. If they have it and you want it, they'll try to get the most for it.

-- Maria (, April 24, 2000.

Are Ken and Maria worried there's still a chance we're going to take our money out of the bank?

-- The time of possible (panic@is.over), April 24, 2000.

Ken is Maria.

-- (maria@is.ken), April 24, 2000.

Open your eyes it is everywhere. It is running amuck. I have seen my neighborhood truckers van, sit more in his yard, than out. I saw the advertised price of a chain pharmacy, big sale was 11.95 for a box of headache pills. When ever, in God's Green Acres, has a box of pain reliever cost that sum? I see water melons costing 5.00, last year they were 2.00 at the most. It now cost me $14.00 to fill, half a tank, a year ago, I filled up the whole tank for $14.00. It is time to unite, once again, as our ancestors did, years ago. We can make it. I watch the financial fall out (not that I have any Gold or market interest), but because of my Heaven Given age, I was privy to the hear the experiences of real hardship of our ancestors. You think your life is hard? Their limited Techo society would make you want to slash your throat. They had a good life, they laughed and had fun, even during the depression, because they helped, one another. My Mother, told me this.

-- The Last Tribunal Fear (, April 24, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ