Get Ready For $4-A-Gallon Gas

With the economy kinda sorta picking up, and consumers in China, India and Brazil buying cars in droves, gas prices are expected to keep going up, and may hit $4 a gallon by early spring, when Americans finish scraping the ice off of their windshields and begin planning road trips. And unlike 2008, when gas last broke the $4 barrier, only to later drop to lower prices, $4 may be a new baseline, followed by $5 gas as early as next year.

CNBC looked at the factors driving prices up:

Sometimes prices jump in late fall if the cold weather starts early, generating competition for crude oil between home-heating oil and gasoline. But that didn’t happen this year, and prices rose anyway — mostly because of this demand from growing markets.

A couple of other factors have also contributed to the nonstop ascent of gas prices since last summer: Rising crude-oil prices, since oil is used to make gasoline, and the weak dollar, since all oil is traded in dollars and when the dollar is weak, foreign currencies buy more dollars — and more oil.

Now, here’s the really bad news: Prices are expected to continue rising straight through the summer driving season.

CNBC lists the usual fuel-saving tips, including keeping tires inflated and avoiding heavy loads. If that doesn’t do it, you could always get a $157,000 electric car.

Gas Prices and Economy: What Happened to the Winter Break for Gas Prices? [CNBC]


Edit Your Comment

  1. MrEvil says:

    I’m just gonna come out and say it…


  2. dolemite says:

    ha…hah…HAH! I recall a few months after gas prices came down to the $2 range (and since then), SUV and pickup sales spiked and held steady. Boy those idiots are in for it now.

    Glad I picked up a 32+ mpg wagon that holds as much cargo as a medium suv while costing about 1/2 as much.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      What kind of car do you have?

      • dolemite says:

        Elantra Touring:

        No clue where they get “up to 31 mpg highway”. I get 32.5 combined, and closer to 40 mpg highway (just needs a 6th gear and it’d be probably like 41 highway).

        I’ve also got an old Chevy Blazer that has about the same room, but gets 1/2 the gas mileage (used for snow only pretty much).

      • TouchMyMonkey says:

        ’10 Honda Civic sedan here. 41 no-shit MPG on the highway at 70 MPH. I have the gas receipt to prove it. Erie, PA, to Louisville, KY, on ten gallons of gas. And Honda still makes a damn fine small sedan. Tons better than a decade ago.

    • brianisthegreatest says:

      Did you get those awesome local car dealership ads about trading in your cash for clunkers purchase for a new truck? I wanted to stab them.

    • balthisar says:

      Hah! Last time gas hit $4 per gallon, I got my Expedition at a steal, and I won’t regret it until gas hits, maybe, $10 per gallon (it’s not a daily driver, after all).

      What’s worse is, the fool that traded it in was probably upside down on it, and piled that onto a loan for a brand new car.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        I really regret not buying a full size pick up last time gas prices surged. There were some amazing deals out there.

      • HappyFunTimes says:

        I regret not picking up a Tahoe :-( They were so cheap and even at $8/gal I’d be fine. Sigh. Non-buyers remorse

      • chucklebuck says:

        This is what I’m waiting for, the Gas Is Too Damn High SUV selloff panic. Right now they’re all really expensive because of the Snowpocalypse SUV buying panic.

    • tbax929 says:

      You can have my SUV when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. I love it, and I really don’t care how much it costs to fill it up.

      I used to only ever have sports cars. I could never see around vehicles in front of me. I couldn’t take more than one person with me anywhere. I hate to shop because I had to think about whether I had enough room to take my purchases home. I hated SUVs when I had a small car. Now that I have an SUV, I’ll always prefer them to small cars.

      Of course, if I could afford to own two cars, my second car would be small. But I’m a one-car family.

      • One-Eyed Jack says:

        Our Miata can probably fit in the back of our SUV. Love them both for different reasons. But then the SUV is a 5-speed and isn’t much of a gas hog.

    • TasteyCat says:

      While the SUV idiots are causing themselves to pay more, they are also causing everyone else to pay more. Their excess consumption means higher prices for you, too. To add insult to injury, they’re so damn high that a normal vehicle can’t see around them, thereby creating dangerous driving situations.

    • jesusofcool says:

      Yeah I drive an old used Corolla and the gas mileage is freakin’ amazing (even though it fits a surprising amount of stuff). Not to mention I use public transportation for commuting. While in the winter it sort of sucks, I still can’t imagine daily driving a giant SUV year round (and paying through the nose for it).

    • dangermike says:

      I’m looking forward to it, too, but but my reason isn’t nearly so shadenfreudistic. I’ve been thinking about trading in my trusty mini (well trusty in that despite all the expensive little repairs it has required, it keeps running. And leaking oil. And chewing through brake pads. And overheating whenever it’s warmer than 80 outside. And throwing emissions warning lights every other week. But it’s still fun as hell to throw it through the corners) for something with a trunk and a V8. The last time gas went over $4, I was a hair’s width away from buying a 300C SRT-8 which was priced under $30,000. But between the uncertainty over mopar’s future at the time, and the fact that the mini was in an extended stay at a body shop when the ad popped up, I didn’t move on it. This time around, I’m hoping to see a challenger R/T with a manual transmission drop to around $25,000. If I see that, it’s mine.

    • aaron8301 says:

      What you holier-than-thou MPG elitists forget is that some people buy SUVs because we NEED them.

      I bought my 4×4 Suburban because I live in a northern, mountainous area that gets lots of snow. I also pull several different trailers with it. In the summer, I pull a travel trailer and load the Sub with the wife, two kids, and a couple other friends and go out to the Pacific Ocean beach, where the 4×4 comes in real handy in the sand. In the winter, I drive up forest service roads with a foot of unplowed snow to cut down a Christmas tree the old-fashioned way.

      Let’s see your wagon do that.

      • reynwrap582 says:

        Not to be “that guy” but other than listing living in a northern mountain region, none of the things you listed were things you NEEDED, and I bet plenty of people get along just fine doing the things you do with smaller or more efficient vehicles.

        Now, that’s not to say you shouldn’t drive the vehicle you want. You love your Suburban, more power to you, but at least be willing to own up to the fact that your vehicle and your living choices have a much larger environmental impact than most others’, otherwise you’re no less of an idiot than MPG elitists.

        • shepd says:

          I think his point is that he uses his SUV for the purpose of an SUV, to do things a car can’t do.

          Implying that because he doesn’t need it he probably shouldn’t have it due to the environmental impact leads to a slippery slope where we end up with no technology whatsoever. I mean, do you really need a car at all? You could take the bus. Do you really need to take the bus? You could bicycle. Do you really need to use a bike (consider there is environmental impact when producing them)? You could just walk.

          Now, if you buy a car, but always take the bus, that makes that car as stupid to own as the SUV.

  3. FireJayPa says:

    No big deal, I can afford 4-5$ a gallon. It will reduce the number of people driving and make getting places easier.

    It’ll be nice to have a few less people on 66 and/or 495 in their piece of crap 1993 Honda Civics…..

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Not sure how you assume short-term fluctuations change the body of cars on the road.

    • MrEvil says:

      One can only hope my friend. The MoPac Expressway and US 183 ( Loop 1) in Austin turn into parking lots from 4PM to 7PM and some nights 9PM. Hopefully more people will start working from home and/or ride the bus. I can’t because there’s no bus stop anywhere close to my office, but there’s plenty of mass transit at other major employers (Some even have their own special bus).

    • trentblase says:

      Considering old Honda Civics get like 40 MPG on the highway, I’m not sure this will reduce the number on the road.

      • dangermike says:

        I don’t know, I think cash for clunkers may have really helped reduce their numbers on the road by offering considerably more for the “clunker” trade-in than the market price of a quality used model would have been. I recall an article from about a yead ago showing how used car prices had severely jumped over the previous year or two, to the point where 1-2 year old cars were often priced higher than their dealer-new counterparts (although that probably had more to do with lack of financing opportunities)

    • brianisthegreatest says:

      Too bad the people in the 1993 civics are driving economy cars with a 1.5L engine. You might see more than you’d hoped.

      Or, are you implying that only poor people drive a “piece of crap”, and wouldn’t be able to afford the gas? I’m not sure here, you should have thought that out a little more, before you were trying to troll.

      I’m not poor, and when you’d see me in your car, I would gladly love to help your road rage in my 1997 nissan with a 1.6L

    • Beeker26 says:

      Unlikely, as there are very few alternatives to driving when you have to get from point A to B. More likely is that people will have less disposable income to spend on other things that aren’t a necessity.

    • PencilSharp says:

      No, son. Let your Uncle Pen explain what really happens:

      1. Gas hits $4 a gallon.
      2. People buy gas instead of other things.
      3. The economy crashes to the floor with a thud like a jobber on SmackDown.
      4. You lose your job because you make something other than gas.
      5. Gas hits $5 a gallon.
      6. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

      Now that the smug bugs are snuffed, a quick question: Am I the only one in this room who remembers Enron, and who fully believes that it can happen again?

    • nutbastard says:

      first of all, I’ll take a 93 civic over ANY new car if the purpose is simply to get from point A to point B.

      the 92-95 civics are notoriously reliable. I have a 94 ex with the peppier 16L D16Z6 SOHC VTEC and even with compression down to 120 PSI across all cylinders, it still delivers 30+ mpg no matter how hard I drive it, and around 40mpg if I’m, say, coming back from tahoe to the bay area.

      my girl has 194k on her and shows no signs of wear. it has never had work done minus a couple of timing belts, a water pump, and a cat. starts every time on the second chirp and has never left me stranded.

      the synchros are shot, but all that means is you have to actually know how to drive stick properly to drive it. all the electrics work perfectly including cruise control, power windows, power mirrors and the power sun roof. it’s got decent power and is actually really fun to toss into corners.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        I’m glad you mentioned the timing belt! It’s amazing how many incredibly reliable cars have been completely destroyed because the owner didn’t want to spend $600 for a new belt, tensioner, & water pump.

        • nutbastard says:

          I even have em done at the dealership just to be sure everything’s on the up and up. Worth the extra $$$ for the peace of mind.

          • Kevin says:

            Peace of mind for me comes from doing my own work and not hoping some greasemonkey I don’t know got everything right. When I’m working on my own time and not on a book rate, I can be far more thorough. Then again, other than farming out rebuilds a couple automatic transmissions and custom exhaust work, I’ve done all my own wrenching on my vehicles over my 15 years of rolling POS ownership. Current projects are a capable DD build on an 00 XJ and a resto-mod (I admit automotive work isn’t for everyone. Having a father who’s a retired professional mechanic with a half-million dollars worth of Snap-On, Craftsman, etc. in his home garage might have something to do with why it works for me.)

        • dangermike says:

          Surely you mean $100 and weekend afternoon?

          It’s amazing how much money a craftsman’s mechanic’s kit, a torque wrench, and a willingness to get dirty can save you in the long run.

    • Harmodios says:

      Amen! I hope it goes to $6 quickly.

      • Straspey says:

        I remember when gasoline cost 19 Cents per gallon.

        That means saying, “Fill-er-up, giving the guy a $5 bill – and getting change.

        (plus they checked your oil and washed your windshield as a normal part of filling your tank.)

        Back in those days, there were no “1993 Honda Civic” type cars – and most people identified themselves with the type of car they drove much in the way people identify themselves by the type of smartphone or “handheld” device they own.

    • Kevin says:

      POS 93 Honda Civics get around 30 mpg. That’s one vehicle that will still be on the road.

      • zzyzzx says:

        I was thinking the same thing. One of the reasons I refuse to buy a new car is the crappy gas mileage they all get (except for the Chevy Volt).

    • th3v6cann3val0s3 says:

      Typical American short-sightedness.

      I’m very happy you can afford another +$200-$400 per year on gas. Now, I wonder how EVERYTHING ELSE is affected when a good majority of consumer products, including your food are mostly trucked in.

  4. brianisthegreatest says:

    So glad I started riding a bike around town.

  5. photoguy622 says:

    My 4-cylinder and 6-speed manual will be just fine… not happy mind you, but I’ll deal.

    My brother on the other hand is starting to rethink his Mustang GT. Not that I wouldn’t love a new 5.0, but yikes that will get expensive faster than it gets from 0-60.

    Seems like just yesterday gas was 99¢ a gallon. Coincidentally I miss being in college.

  6. LeonardoLeonardo says:

    Services that need non-profit government-run competition:

    – Gasoline
    – Internet
    – Electricity

    • LeonardoLeonardo says:


      – Healthcare

      • nutbastard says:

        You seem to have a lot of faith in governments’ ability to do ANYTHING well, let alone cheap, given an almost entirely spotless record of never achieving either of those things in the past.

        You insist that the best entity to control such industries is the single most indebted organization in the history of mankind. Meanwhile, somehow, private companies manage to stay in the black for decades, even centuries at a time.

        You see, when a private company does something and it fails, that something goes away.

        When government does something and it fails it sticks around for a looooong time, failing all the while.

        Look, I too wish we had a council of all powerful benevolent wizards running the show, but clearly the people in charge are not wizards, nor are they even of significantly above average intelligence – and average is a pretty low place to put the bar.

        • Sbb says:

          Oh yeah, ignoring the problem is a way better solution than letting the government try to resolve it! Regardless of how well you think the government would do the job, how could regulating gasoline prices make things have effects any more negative than none?

          • nutbastard says:

            “how could regulating gasoline prices make things have effects any more negative than none?”

            Let me ask you this:

            What’s better, UPS and Fedex, or the US Postal Service?

            What’s better, private schools or public schools?

            What’s better, medicare or private insurance?

            What’s better, conservative personal investments or social security?

            What’s better, a private attorney or a public defender?

            Who provides better service, McDonalds or the DMV? or the IRS?

            Name one, ONE thing that the government does better than private industry. And “lying” doesn’t count.

            • waltja26 says:

              You won’t get an answer, because there isnt one. But your arguement isnt correct. Most of the people here do not care if the government solves something efficiently, they just want someone else to pay for it.

            • JohnManley says:

              What’s better, UPS and Fedex, or the US Postal Service?
              US Postal Service – UPS $25 to send a letter are you kidding me?

              What’s better, private schools or public schools?
              Private schools usually.

              What’s better, medicare or private insurance?
              Medicare – you don’t lose it when you get sick and lose your job

              What’s better, conservative personal investments or social security?
              Social Security is guaranteed.

              What’s better, a private attorney or a public defender?
              Private Attorney

              Who provides better service, McDonalds or the DMV? or the IRS?
              McDonalds – but I’ve had better service from the DMV and the IRS than from Sprint, GEICO, Staples… say

              Name one, ONE thing that the government does better than private industry.
              Roads, Police, Fire Service, Military, US Parks Service, FAA, FDA, CDC, FDIC, NASA – I could go on.

              • Rawkus says:

                Your dumb too

                Lets look at hong kong post

                Chinese subsidiesed (sp?) and i get my cheap Dealextreme stuff quick and cheap.

                You do realize that their are places in the world outside america right?

                It is absolutely amazing that both you morons think that americas 300 years of exsitance filled with people from around the world who couldn’t make it with fair competition of their home lands, and had to come here to survive is better than sovergn countries…

                Keep your dumb on x2.

                • nutbastard says:

                  “You do realize that their are places in the world outside america right?”

                  Yes, and I also realize there are topics other than economics and energy infrastructure in America. But we aren’t fucking talking about those other things here. We aren’t talking about Canada’s government or the price of gas in Madagascar. We are talking about (well, I am anyways) US gas prices and US gov’t policy. It’s called a “topic”, have you heard of those?

                  • Rawkus says:


                    and if we implemented a government program for these industries that has worked in other countries it would make your argument invalid. Such as regulation or complete control of certain industries. It’s almost as if you feel there is only one way to do things.

                    Thanks for the recap.

                  • Don't_rip_me_off_bro says:

                    “It’s called a ‘topic’, have you heard of those?”

                    As you are the self-appointed grammar police, I would like to point out that your subject and verb do not agree in number. A topic =/= those.

                    I guess you’re dumb too?

              • Rawkus says:

                P.S. You shoudl watch the schiffreport and educate your self on commodities aroudn the world. You can do it on youtube.

              • nutbastard says:

                You generally have zero recourse if the Post office loses/destroys a package. Not so with private couriers.

                If you and your employer didn’t have to pay taxes for medicare you’d be that much closer to being able to afford decent insurance. As for losing a job, that’s life. No one is entitled to a life free of hardships.

                Social security is in no way ‘guaranteed’. It’s likely I’ll never see a dime of it. If I die before I retire, I certainly won’t, and even then the amount of money I actually get, even if i lived to be 120 years old would not equal what I paid in, which will have depreciated greatly and which hasn’t born any interest. And I said ‘conservative’ investment as in things that may not give a huge return but should instead maintain the value of the money such as metals and commodities.

                “Roads, Police, Fire Service, Military, US Parks Service, FAA, FDA, CDC, FDIC, NASA -“

                Roads are subbed out to private companies all the time.

                The gov’t has a monopoly on Police, there is no legal private option.

                Fire Service is overwhelmingly local and volunteer.

                Military subs out quite a bit to private contractors as well.

                Monopoly on parks, and come on, there’s not a whole hell of a lot that goes into that.

                “FDA, CDC, NASA”

                All subbed out to private colleges and institutions…

                “FAA, FDIC”

                Monopolies – no private equivalent to speak of.

                • Rawkus says:

                  Ths whl pst s spkng n th mst gnrl wtf r y tryng t s trms? Yr jst nrcssst wh cn’t dmt whn hs whl lf phlsph s bsltl wrng… Yr lk nt pckng rqrd srvcs lk th fr dpt r plc? nd thght y wr th n tryng t tk w m crdblt wth th spllng…. fl dctd, nd smrtr… Thnks fr blssng m.

                • JohnManley says:

                  You generally have zero recourse if the Post office loses/destroys a package. Not so with private couriers.

                  Well you do if you insure it.

                  If you and your employer didn’t have to pay taxes for medicare you’d be that much closer to being able to afford decent insurance. As for losing a job, that’s life. No one is entitled to a life free of hardships.

                  So if we didn’t pay taxes we would be closer to affording decent insurance but still not there? That doesn’t sound like much of an endorsement of private health care. You’re essentially saying that even if we didn’t pay taxes we still wouldn’t be able to afford decent health care. And your other argument seems to be that if you lose your job you don’t deserve health care? Why is no health care better than Medicare?

                  Social security is in no way ‘guaranteed’. It’s likely I’ll never see a dime of it. If I die before I retire, I certainly won’t, and even then the amount of money I actually get, even if i lived to be 120 years old would not equal what I paid in, which will have depreciated greatly and which hasn’t born any interest. And I said ‘conservative’ investment as in things that may not give a huge return but should instead maintain the value of the money such as metals and commodities.

                  If you die you won’t get the nefit of your private savings either. And I’m pretty sure that you will get a lot back from Social Security. Unless, of course the Government abolishes it which seems to be what you want anyway.

                  “Roads, Police, Fire Service, Military, US Parks Service, FAA, FDA, CDC, FDIC, NASA -“

                  Roads are subbed out to private companies all the time.
                  Yes – and the governmentt whether federal,state or local decides who build sthem and to what standards.

                  The gov’t has a monopoly on Police, there is no legal private option.
                  And rightly so.

                  Fire Service is overwhelmingly local and volunteer.
                  Which we pay taxes for of course. So they are a Goverment provided service. I don’t see many private fire services out there.

                  Military subs out quite a bit to private contractors as well.
                  Yes but again it is all paid for out of taxes and Goverment run.

                  Monopoly on parks, and come on, there’s not a whole hell of a lot that goes into that.
                  Well that’s a good thing. We have these wonderful National parks with very little upkeep.

                  “FDA, CDC, NASA”

                  All subbed out to private colleges and institutions…

                  Well. of course some of it is, but I’m glad that we have the CDC watching out for the nation’s health. Would you prfere that was run by Pfizer or Merck or someone.

                  “FAA, FDIC”

                  Monopolies – no private equivalent to speak of.

                  Right because before those departments started there was no private equivalent.

                  You see, the Government, just like every other organisation, does some things very well and some very badly. This idea that everything the Government does is in some way bad is an extremely strange point of view. Can you name a single society or country that had no or minimal Government that was better than the one we live in today?

            • Rawkus says:

              Your forgeting one thing…

              Well a couple…. First your an a-hole.

              Second… You are not bringing up government run things that other countries have.
              Obviously loser if you use american dumbed down not really doing it versions of government things it’s easy to make this argument.

              Why don’t you go to yahoo and read the “happiest countires in the world” article… I didn’t even open it but i bet you america isnt’ even on it.

              Those canadians have such horrible quality of life… cheap netflix and good healthcare… Or the Japanese whose doctors make middle income because healthcare isn’t an industry.

              You show a big front that your right, but your like the NAACP… The only thing that has ever been or ever will be has had it happen in America…

              Keep your dumb on.

              • nutbastard says:

                You are forgetting something. The word is, “you’re”. 4 Times. Not great form when you’re attempting to label someone else as dumb.

                “You are not bringing up government run things that other countries have. “

                That’s because I am talking about the US government.

                I said nothing about ‘happiness’, so I’m not sure why you think that it’s relevant to the discussion.The adults are talking about economics, perhaps you should sit this one out.

                • Rawkus says:

                  “we are not talking about happiness” well…. i definitely pegged you right.

                  “thats because i’m bring up what the us does” So freaking dumb…. How can you even say that? Your like making a new post that goes even more backward then ever thought possible. Please call doc brown, and let him know your coming.

                  I find it interesting that even though Americans have dumbed down the English language we feel an incredible need to get the dumb version just right!

                  So much so that we will not actually respond to what was being said, but just try to discredit you…

                  Maybe you should grow up person with the middle finger picture, and I did discuss the what the op said. “government run industries” You said no, and that they all sucked.

                  I told you other countries get it right…. I don’t understand the confusion on my remarks showing you how absolutely clueless you are.

                  I appreciate the proof read. Now i don’t have to click all the red lines, and it only takes me less than 2 min to make a post. Please invest more time into showing me how much you net loss the world.

                  If you do choose to reply please more forward and say something new. I understand what you wrote, and you don’t have to define it. You do have to spell it right though.

                  • nutbastard says:

                    If English is your first language I seriously hope you’ve been sterilized. I’m not sure what you think you’re saying, but you’re a semantic and grammatical disaster. How do you expect me to take your argument seriously when you communicate with all the proficiency of a retarded 12 year old?

                    • Rawkus says:

                      After what you just wrote I think it’s the other way around. I definitely don’t think it’s that hard
                      Just educate us with your worldly knowledge of govt run industries, and why they wont work for the US.

                      Is that good enough for you? Seriously I thought you’d stay on subject a little more with all the conviction you showed, but with a crumble like that I’m just gonna have to stop looking for replies….

            • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

              Well if you’re going to name successful businesses(as opposed to the many, many failed private enterprises) to the government institutions your political ilk keep undercutting and underfunding and may differ by state, then we’re not going to get an honest answer are we?

              Apples, oranges, anyone?

              • nutbastard says:

                No, it’s not apples to oranges because those failed private enterprises? They aren’t still around, sucking, anymore.

                As far as what differs by State, how does that matter? Whatever those differences are, they were dictated by government. How is the government who put them in place somehow absolved of responsibility for them? If a company does business differently in different locations and fails, that’s still failure, is it not?

                • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

                  Because the government of the State of Arizona is run by different people than the government of Canada. Don’t be obtuse. It’s the difference between Wendy’s and McDonald’s. Same basic model, same basic service, same goals even (profit), different management and owners render them merely similar.

                  Or does one burger place failing mean all burger places are destined to fail? Why is it in your neoliberal worldview, there is only ever diversity in enterprise, but none in government? Surely Saudi Arabia runs vastly differently than Mexico or Ireland.

            • GrimJack says:

              UPS vs. FedEx vs. USPS? Really?

              Do FedEx and UPS deliver letters for 40-odd cents? Do FedEx and UPS come to my house everyday just in case I have something in my mailbox that I want to send?

              I guess in this case private enterprise is much better when they can pick and choose what services they are willing to provide versus a business with a government mandate to provide base level services to everyone, even the less profitable services…

            • Don't_rip_me_off_bro says:

              I’ll name one:

              Fire Departments.


          • Bsamm09 says:

            Seriously? I assume you want to regulate them low. This will, depending on the price, cause demand to out pace supply. This will create shortages/rationing and a black market, most likely.

            Gas companies could just stop producing and go out of business or Gov’t would have to subsidize them even more and hide the true cost.

          • Sneeje says:

            Sorry, particularly when it comes to things the marketplace can actually provide, it actually would be worse for the government to do something rather than ignore the problem.

            Market disruptions (whether due to innovations, supply crisis, or etc.) do a far better job at causing the necessary change than the government does. Don’t get me wrong–it will suck for a long, long time, but eventually the marketplace will address the problem.

            The real problem isn’t going to be gas, though, its going to be the demand on the rare-earth elements that is created by a market that is attempting to switch to other technologies (away from fossil fuels).

        • Rawkus says:

          I wish we didn’t have people who live in fairy tale lands…

          These same people have profile pics with middle fingers on them…

    • leprechaunshawn says:


      Do I need to point out the complete reset that this country went through just this past November? The majority of Americans are for less government.

      • pythonspam says:

        Show me a survey that has $4/gallon and $5/gallon gas on it and shows people don’t want some kind of regulation and I will cede your point.
        Gas is Gas, just like a gallon of milk is a gallon of milk and like Internet should be Internet.

        • Kevin says:

          Nothing from the government comes for free. It’s taken by force from the hard work of others. The people that want the government to save them from high prices of consumer items aren’t doing anything to make their own lives better and want hand outs.

      • FrugalFreak says:

        Just because they are for it doesn’t mean they have sense. They are just “full speed ahead, dam* the torpedoes.

        And the ones who are becoming in control created this mess but they don’t care because they have the money and are selfish.

      • psm321 says:

        That was more about Americans wanting government to DO what they promised. It was all about the Dems being completely ineffective (on purpose IMO) at implementing the slightly left platform they promised and that got them elected by huge margins in 2008 (REAL universal healthcare, REAL financial reform, REAL job stimulus [WPA-style], REAL progressive taxation). The public is still hurting due to this, so only the right-wing wingnuts for the most part voted in 2010 (that and the people who think “hey if the dems are going to act like repubs, might as well vote in the real repubs so they can at least get SOMETHING done). This whole “America is center-right” is complete bullshit, as anyone can clearly see from how the Dems moving more and more rightward has consistently hurt them, and from the fact that when Americans are surveys on the actual issues (like the ones listed above) instead of parties or propaganda, they almost always come down solidly on the left. (IIRC 70% wanted universaltruly socialized single-payer healthcare)

    • ecwis says:

      Yeah it worked so well for Mexico and Bolivia.

  7. Joe-TFW says:

    If they thought the economy crashed hard in 2008, let them try and push $4+ a gallon gas again now. It sure won’t be pretty.

    • jessjj347 says:

      Unfortunately most of the U.S. is built under the assumption that gas is cheap, e.g. suburbia, shipping pipelines, etc. Will be a large issue if gas rises substantially.

  8. Arctic Snowbot says:

    i wonder if this has anything to do with the oil spill at pump station 1 in prudhoe bay?

  9. full.tang.halo says:

    2 years of deep recession and we are just now starting to see a bit of a pickup in business down here and FL and rising steel & gas prices are gonna be like a gallon of roundup on a single flower. It’s all out depressing to see some light at the end of the tunnel only to find out it’s a train coming to try to run you over.

    • eigenvector says:

      I expect the economy to go to **** again, especially in my hometown area, if this happens. When the price of gas goes up, the price of everything goes up and we all get paid the same as before.

  10. BradC says:

    Gas prices don’t work on traditional supply and demand anymore, they have turned the model on its head. We’re all getting a few extra $ in our paychecks now thanks to the 2011 tax bill. This is just the gas companies way of getting their hands on this newly available money before anyone gets used to having it.

    • dolemite says:

      Yeah, I got very few extra $. I calculated a $30 increase per check (not bad), but my federal went up $21 (accountant said other things changed). So…I’m getting $9 more per paycheck.
      I guess that’ll pay for the gas increase….

      • leprechaunshawn says:

        That sounds like we’ve been had again.
        Obama said I was going to be contributing 2% less towards Social Security, I thought my paycheck would be 2% higher in return. He didn’t tell me that other parts of my weekly withholdings were going up.

    • lucky13 says:

      What paycheck?

    • nutbastard says:

      just checked, I’m allowed to keep $5.29 a week more. a whopping $275 a year. inflation alone will negate that.

    • aloria says:

      Except that a lot of us are getting still getting pay cuts, so that “extra” is even more of a joke.

  11. swarrior216 says:

    Being unemployed and not on unemployment I can’t wait!!

  12. Rebecca K-S says:

    Suck. I’m glad this will be happening just as I’m adopting a 80-90 mile daily commute. :-/

    • dolemite says:

      Man, that’s a long commute. You’d even have trouble in most electric cars!

      • Rebecca K-S says:

        It’s round trip, fortunately, not one way, but yeah. It sucks. It’s the most practical option though, unfortunately.

        And I drive a 14-year-old CR-V. :(

        • LanMan04 says:

          You’re in Chicago, right?

          I remember one summer where I commuted from Naperville (where my parents lived) way out to Cicero to go to college part-time in the morning (Mom was a prof there,so it was free), then drove way down to Burr Ridge to work for a half-day at an internship, and then back to Naperville in the evening.

          One big-ass triangle and I hit the peak of both rushhours. BLEH!

    • pythonspam says:

      At $4/gallon, I gotta move closer to my job…
      This 104 mile round trip in my 4.6L Crown Vic is killing me as it is.

      • Rebecca K-S says:

        Unfortunately that’s not really an option for me. Moving would mean either living separately from my husband and paying for another home, or his moving with me and making the commute back. Neither of which is going to happen. Oh well. Only four years to go! (I commute for school.)

        • Michaela says:

          My mom did that when gas was cheaper. Unfortunately, her trip was 160 miles (one way) and she had to go twice a week for a mini-semester (the university was the only one in the state offering the class she needed).

          I will probably have to get a job if gas gets that expensive (currently living off scholarship money).

        • Beeker26 says:

          You should look into buying a clunker that gets really good gas mileage just for the commute. In the long run it could save you a bundle if what you’re driving now isn’t so hot on gas.

          • Rebecca K-S says:

            My vehicle isn’t great, but it isn’t awful either. I get in the high 20s on average, mostly because I go like 62 on the highway. At 14, it’s so close to needing to be replaced, I’m not comfortable with acquiring a clunker, and I just can’t afford a new car right now.

  13. ZhannTk says:

    $4? Meh. Still $1.5 per gallon cheaper than where I live.

    • treebait says:

      Yeah, I’m paying $1.25 a litre right now… That’s about $4.75 a gallon. for those playing at home.

    • TPA says:

      The only problem with your comment — most of what you’re paying is going to taxes, for roads, gov’t projects, etc. Here in the US it goes straight to the oil companies. No new roads being built with the higher prices.

  14. Thassodar says:

    The Bakken Shale Formation is a HUGE location of oil on our own soil! It’s just unfortunate nobody is willing to invest enough money to get to it, there are over 46 billion barrels of oil down there.

    • Commenter24 says:

      It’s not QUITE 46 billion barrels…try somewhere between 2 billion and 4.3 billion.

      • Thassodar says:

        Indeed you are correct, I misquoted my own research paper on North Dakota that I had to do 2 months ago.

    • Doubts42 says:

      they tried shale drilling here in N TX, the gas company got the gas and homeowners got water coming out of their pipes that you could literally light on fore as it ran.

    • Mom says:

      It’s that “invest enough money” thing that’s the problem. The cost to extract oil from shale is currently $70-95 per barrel. Oil prices (and thus gas prices) would need to go up considerably to make it worthwhile for the oil companies to invest in shale extraction on a large scale.

      So, when gas gets to $8/gallon, you’ll see shale extraction. Until then, not so much.

    • Joseph S Ragman says:

      Why? If we go get it, the only thing we’ll do with it is give it away … remember the Alaska pipeline? Where the hell does all THAT oil go? Not to us.

    • Gandalf the Grey says:

      I have a friend that’s working on the rigs out there now. There are companies that are working to extract the oil, just not many of them yet.

  15. devilsadvocate says:

    Isn’t it funny that at $2.00, the oil companies post profits in the double digit billions? A weaker US dollar causes prices to go up, while China keeps printing more money making the Yen go down causing down turns in the economy. There is always a reason the oil companies willtell us the price is going up. It won’t stop until the price of oil is based on the cost of oil, not what speculators and investors say it should cost. I understand that the costs are fluid with oil, but there is still a parameter of which they could operate. Instead the oil speculators say, well time to raise prices. I’m not stupid enough to think that the actual cost of oil has risen 33% and yet the oil comapies keep posting record profits.
    While I’m ranting, why is it that oil is not like everything else out there, price driven? If Exxon is sell oil at say $90 per barrel, shouldn’t we be going to BP and saying we will switch our supplier to them if they sell at $80 per barrel? In any other goods sale, the scheer volume the US does warrants a discount. This is a Walmart world, why can the oil companies charge whatever they want and nobody says boo to them? Maybe if we gave them more tax breaks, they would treat us better. What’s millions on dollars in the big picture anyway?

    • Johnyrobotic says:

      Well it has to do with the way they get the gas from oil to the pumps. it’s fungible commodity, so if i’m exxon selling gas for $4 a gallon and BP sells for $3 a gallon and everyone goes there then BP needs more gas so they buy it from exxon.

      From my understanding the reason it works like this is because when they drill they dump barrels into the pipeline, and to simplify it you get credited for what you put in and can take that out whenever.

      so in reality every gas station is pulling from the same pool. so boycotting a single chain has no effect because they will just sell their gas to whomever is selling more of it. And if BP needs more gas and exxon wants to sell it for more than BP is, then BP has to charge the customer more, and we end up right where we started.

      • Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

        I hear what you are saying, but let me tell you this. We have a refinery about 15 minutes away from us and our local gas station says how it gets the gas from there. Wouldn’t you think it would be cheaper as the gas only comes about 20 miles away. Well it’s the highest in the county…they transport the gas over 90 miles away and it’s cheaper at that gas station. The real kicker is…they have a gas station right outside the refinery gates….it’s just as expensive there as it is here and still cheaper at the gas stations farther away.

        It all comes down to greed my friend…they know they have something we need and we have no other alternative but to use their product.

    • PupJet says:

      “In any other goods sale, the scheer volume the US does warrants a discount.”

      Way to destroy the word “sheer”.

      And as for gas, I could care less. I have a 92 ford tempo that I only take at most, 15 miles one way. If I want to further, it still gets decent mileage (I can fill it up and it only takes 1/8th of a tank).

      It’s not like I would go that far anyway since if I want to, I can spend $40 for a roundtrip ticket on a train and spend a nice weekend wherever I go. :P

      • Duffin (Ain't This Kitty Cute?) says:

        “And as for gas, I could care less”

        Way to destroy the phrase. So, you COULD care less than you do? Pretty sure that’s not what you meant. I just thought I’d point that out since you decided to be a dick to the OP of the thread. Learn proper grammar before you critique someone else’s spelling.

        • shepd says:

          He could care less, but the issue is so unimportant, he chooses not to.

          Way to not understand that the phrase works both ways, and is actually used both ways legitimately (which phrase is considered correct generally varies based on your location, but the internet doesn’t usually tell us where you are right now).

          To me, if you couldn’t care less, the issue must be pretty damn important, since it implies caring less will have dire consequences. Of course, could care less might also imply that caring less isn’t going to be helpful. “I couldn’t care less about breathing! Try not doing it for 3 minutes and see if you agree that caring less is a bad idea. I could care less about gas prices, but if I did care less, they’d probably keep going up.”

          • Mark702 says:

            Not really. “It’s so unimportant that he chooses not to?”, you say? Sorry, doesn’t make sense. He chooses a level of caring ABOVE zero because it’s “too unimportant”? No, that’s nonsensical.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Gas/fuel is usually made of a blend of oils. If company A and company B both collect a different grade of crude, you still have to blend them, even if Company B is cheaper.

  16. Jerkamie says:

    It’s more then that in Canada everyday.

    • kylere1 says:

      And you have universal health care and such strict environmental laws that it is cheaper to drive trash to Michigan and dump it rather than dumping it in Canada, so stop whining.

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      Does it come in bags like your milk?

    • Piznoup says:

      Amen… I’m driving my 22L /100km SUV and still survive

    • OSAM says:

      My thoughts exactly. That’s $1/L. When was the last time I saw gas that cheap? Hmm, it’s been a while. It’s been hovering around the $1.10-1.18 range for the last few months, ever since the USD/CAD have been at/around par. Suck it up.

      • Jerkamie says:

        $1 per liter is cheap right now. It would cause a riot at the pumps. Highest I ever paid was $1.27 per liter.

  17. happywaffle says:

    Consumerist, you might want to check the original source. The report that CNBC cites predicts, right at the top, that there’s “an 8 to 10 percent probability that it could exceed $4.00 per gallon in August and September 2011.” $5 gas is not mentioned *anywhere* in the report.

    Please don’t keep spreading rumors without any basis in fact. Just the other day I was unfortunate enough to hear Rush Limbaugh predicting that Obama was leading us down the road to $4 gas.

    • Alvis says:

      Good catch! What’s up, Consumerist?

      • deejmer says:

        “What’s up” is that happywaffle didn’t read the entire article:

        “John Hofmeister, the former president of Shell Oil, recently sent a ripple through the market when he said gas prices will hit $5 a gallon by 2012, citing deep-water drilling bans in the U.S.”

        • happywaffle says:

          Au contraire. I did read the whole article. That’s one executive’s opinion, which read in context seems to be a minority view. The Consumerist’s line makes it sound like this is a more realistic probability than it actually is.

      • The Upright Man says:

        I really like this blog and DO NOT want to see it resort to sensationalism :/

    • jason in boston says:

      Stop it with your facts and actually reading the article and all that noise.

  18. Beeker26 says:

    I wonder if transportation companies are going to add another round of “fuel surcharges” like they did last time gas prices went up — which they never bothered to remove when prices came back down again…

    • gman863 says:

      UPS has a variable fuel surcharge built into its rate structure. Although their website may state a 5-pound package base rate from location X to location Y is $10.50, the fuel surcharge (based on the average national price for fuel on the shipping date) is added to the cost before you pay for and print the shipping label.

  19. alana0j says: is not a good time to be a delivery driver….

  20. greatgoogly says:

    Don’t forget this will also drive food prices through the roof (on top of the price increases that the commodity trading scumbags are already building into the system).

    • thisusedtobemoreinterestingandhelpful says:

      yup, no wait it won’t affect me, I live in a social democratic country, and have access to health care, affordable grocery staples (fruit, vegetables, flour, etc) cheap reliable public transportation and a higher standard of living while paying less than living in the US. Yes, that plasma tv might have a high tax but it’s not a necessity of life.

  21. Bativac says:

    Sometimes I wish I could just stop buying gas. Public transportation where I live is so poor (and limited to buses that run, at best, hourly) that it’s not an option. I can’t exactly bike the 9 miles to work either, unless I leave an hour early, and don’t mind being sweaty at work all day. Not to mention the hourlong ride home in treacherous traffic.

    Not to mention the price of groceries is bound to increase.


    • hotdog says:

      Why can’t you bike 9 miles? And why can’t you just leave an hour early for work? If you have to give up something, it’s either:

      1) Time, in riding your bike to work.
      2) Money, in driving your car to work.

      Now, I’m not going to bike to work either, and I don’t blame you for not, but saying “I CAN’T bike, it’d take an extra hour! Oh noes!” isn’t exactly a great excuse.

    • Apeweek says:

      Buy an electric car. I commute in a used EV that I found on eBay – for just a few thousand. Electricity costs just 1 to 2 cents per mile.

    • veronykah says:

      Get a scooter. You can easily travel 9 miles, no sweating and the tank is tiny (mine gets 80 mpg / holds 1 gallon). Great for parking and insurance as well. Probably not as great if you live in the snow, but still better than a bike!

  22. kylere1 says:

    Now I get to laugh even harder at the 97% of SUV owners who have no justification for their huge vehicles for any reason other than compensating for genitalia issues.

  23. Torchwood says:

  24. Mr_D says:

    Gas is already at $3.35 in the northern Chicago burbs (Des Plaines).

  25. EllenRose says:

    For the Greens, $5 gas is not a bug — it’s a feature.

    • LanMan04 says:

      Frankly, I agree. It’s going to take sky-high gas prices to get us off our asses into developing alternative transportation, be it electric cars or mass transit.

      • personwholives says:

        Or more efficient and smaller vehicles. If we had known 5 years ago that gas would go up $1 per gallon every year for 5 years, there would be a lot fewer SUVs on the road, and a lot more nice small cars. But we didn’t know, so everyone bought the big beast, and now they have to fuel it.

        You made your own bed, here, people. Let me know how that works out for you.

        (Full disclosure, I do not drive an SUV, but I most definitely do not drive a prius either. Those things are terrible to drive)

      • Apeweek says:

        Gasoline is already sky-high… we just don’t realize it because the true cost of gasoline is socialized.

        I one saw a report that suggested gasoline really costs $15/gallon when the costs of all government petroleum subsidies and externalized costs are taken into account.

        (Externalized costs means things like oil spills and wars.)

  26. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    Great…I need a third job now…not just to pay for my gas, but the cost of my grocery bill is going to be even more ridiculous than it already is.

  27. Geekybiker says:

    Worse is that the price of everything goes up with the price of gas. Especially food.

    • human_shield says:

      Even worse is that when food prices go up because of gas, they don’t go back down because of gas.

  28. RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

    I gave up my car when I moved onto a really good bus line that runs every 15 minutes all day. I thought the half-mile walk from the back of my apartment complex to the bus stop would be a piece of cake. It was great at first and the exercise was great, but I got badly injured and now that half-mile is torture. In winter, like the below-zero temperatures this week, it’s nearly unbearable.

    So I’d say, public transportation is great, but keep an older car around, even if you have to pay insurance and you’re not driving it. You never know what might happen. Now that I haven’t had a car on the road in 3 years, I’ll have trouble getting new insurance. I loved the exercise and the extra money in my wallet that had been for gas, insurance, repairs, car payments, oil changes, etc., but it’s hard to get groceries or take the cat to the vet on a bus.

    I guess I’m the ultimate greenie now, because I belong to a carshare for those things.

  29. Thorzdad says:

    Interesting. A couple of weeks ago, NPR had an oil industry analyst on to discuss the escalating gas prices and he reported that, even after you take into account all of the normal factors as well as the variables (refinery closings, labor shut-downs in Europe, increasing demand in Asia, etc.) gas prices were still higher than they should be.

    • dolemite says:

      Gov’t just needs more control over the oil co’s and the trading, plain and simple.

      It’s not driven by demand, it’s driven by greed and speculation.

  30. Incredulous1 says:

    Great Illinois just raised the income tax to take away the break we got from Obama.
    Now Chicago – with some of the highest gas taxes to begin with – will probably be the first to hit $4 a gallon. We are at 3.35 now!
    Hubbys job just moved 40 miles away , Ughhhhhh

  31. Broncoskip says:

    start the riots

  32. umbriago says:

    Gasoline Prices to Approach $5 Per Gallon by 2010!

    “If experts in the oil and gas and financial services industries are on target, Americans should expect to see fuel costs rise during the remainder of 2009. In particular, they should expect to see gas prices approaching $5 per gallon by 2010.”

    (article date June 15, 2009)

    I guess it’s an elusive target.

  33. dreamking says:

    The only complaint here is that we’re now having $4/gallon gas foisted on us by supply/demand forces, instead of having it since 2002 in the form of an alternative energy or public transportation investment fund. Then we’d have made more real jobs in the United states and spent most of in domestically instead of it mostly going out to international conglomerates and the Middle East.

  34. ganzhimself says:

    Already paying around $3.40/gal for 93 Octane anyway… Wasn’t more than a few months ago when it was under $3/gal. If it hits over $4/gal I’ll be buying a cheap beater with a small non-turbo engine to commute to work and school I guess.

  35. Mold says:

    Gosh, how ever do the eveel Yurpeans manage with their fuel costs? They must take rickshaws to work in unheated facilities. Oh wait, one can see what they drive by using the Intertubes. What Car? and Top Gear should suffice to make ‘Merican pants-wetters stop mewling.

    • EllenRose says:

      Dear heart, Europe is a lot smaller. The houses are closer together, the population is denser. And that means they don’t have to travel as far. Feet, bicycles, and public transit all work better under these circumstances.

  36. Hi_Hello says:

    aw man. I was just getting use to paying 3-4 bucks to fill up my tank…

  37. BorkBorkBork says:

    Just bought gas for $2.64/gal two days ago. Cheaper than most of the US, but as a college student, it still hurts.

    Thankfully my car (25 years old) gets 33 mpg, and my motorcycle gets 45mpg. So as prices continue to rise, I’ll just drive less and ride more. Which isn’t a bad thing at all! :D

  38. travel_nut says:

    So, cost of living is on the rise. Gas prices are on the rise. Higher gas prices are going to lead to cost of living rising even farther.

    And our income just tanked by $200 a month thanks to increased health insurance.

    To echo MrEvil in the first post,

  39. livingthedreamrtw says:

    Nissan Leaf, here I come…

  40. paul says:

    It’s these people writing articles hyping how much prices are going up that are going to cause prices to go up… You should write articles talking about how the oil market is going to crash, cause all of the investordorks to panic and then we’ll see prices fall…

    In what other industry do we have such massive “competition”, product sourced from hundreds of places all over the globe, yet the retail prices change exactly the same amount at exactly the same time? It’s totally ridiculous and I wish there was something we could do about it.

    • ccooney says:

      It’s called a fungible commodity with a fairly fluid (heh) marketplace, so any changes in spot price are propagated rapidly.

  41. NumberSix says:

    ” tips, including keeping tires inflated and avoiding heavy loads”.

    That’s not a tip, that should be common knowledge.

    • Rebecca K-S says:

      A lot of what should be common knowledge about driving isn’t. I would hope that it’d be common knowledge that driving 85(+) kills your fuel economy, but a lot of people seem blissfully unaware.

  42. VashTS says:

    Seeing some people happy with gas prices going up is sad, and making fun of their older run down vehicles. We all cannot be born, white, with a silver-spoon in our mouths, with a C- average attending Harvard and getting a job handed to us after we graduate.

    Economy is picking up? Is that more government talk for well people are broke and still no jobs but those fortune 500 companies are making profits again.

    • human_shield says:

      It’s called trickle down economics. The richer the rich get, the more they have to spend. So they buy things like high end electronics from China, and luxury automobiles from Japan, and quality European clothing, so that the rest of America will be able to make minimum wage selling these things at their retail jobs.

    • zzyzzx says:

      Some of of white folks are driving older, run down vehicles because they get better gas mileage then new cars. Very few new cars get the mileage of my vintage Ford Escort.

  43. FrugalFreak says:

    And I just won’t buy it when not needed. welcome back siphoning & drive off thefts.

  44. FrugalFreak says:

    But the COLA is not going up neither are paychecks. sure there is no inflation. They need to seperate cost of living apart from housing cost.

  45. belliqua says:

    Has it been pointed out that Canadians have been paying $4.20 per gallon for about.. oh… five years now?

  46. Fjord says:

    I’m happy to pay $4 and I’ll drive the hell out of my 18mpg gas guzzler, when will I be able to enjoy the sound of V8 when we run out of crude?

  47. AnthonyC says:

    “If that doesn’t do it, you could always get a $157,000 electric car.”

    Or, you know, at $40,000 electric car.|_2008_Chevy_Retention_|_IMG_Chevy_Volt_|_Chevy_Volt_|_chevy_volt
    Or a $25000 electric car.

  48. deep.thought says:

    This doesn’t bother me much since my primary vehicle gets about 1000 mpg, and that’s just an equivalence–it actually takes around five cents to fill the battery. “Avoiding heavy loads” is the key, instead of moving thousands of pounds and 4+ empty seats with me everywhere I go, I ride my 50 lb. e-bicycle. Small bonuses here and there, I’m in the best shape I’ve been in years and I feel incredible after every ride, etc. etc.

  49. gman863 says:

    Oil Company Play Book:

    Oooops! We had a small incident in the Gulf Of Mexico; now Obama says we’ve been banned from the playground.

    What can we do to change his mind?

    Instead of spending money on improved safety, we’ll use our influence to drive up the price of oil – well above even what OPEC thinks its worth. When enough economic damage is done with gas at or above $4/gallon, we’ll casually remind our enemies in Washington the supply and demand issue can be “fixed” simply by drilling in the Gulf and spilling (scratch that – adding) it into the global supply.

    Economic blackmail. As Martha Stewart says, It’s A Good Thing.

  50. SgtBeavis says:

    Telecommuting FTMFW!

    This has next to no impact on me. We have a 2010 Equinox that gets great mileage (when I drive sanely) and my wife is a domestic goddess. (^_^)

  51. Kevin says:

    Yes, this blows. I have a huge 87 Silverado that I bought when I was young. It gets 8 mpg and I hardly ever drive it. I still needed a vehicle that could tow a couple ATVs and wanted one that was 4×4 and could carry 4 adults. I wound up with a 2000 Cherokee, which gets twice the mileage of my old truck. That still sucks compared to the 40+ I was pulling with my 05 Corolla and some hypermiling techniques, but that’s the trade off for the rest of the capabilities.

    People pay more for diesel and electric cars already. The public is ready alternative sources of energy. It’s going to take rising gas prices for the market to shift to the point where these other vehicles are financially viable. Does it cost more to produce a cutting-edge battery pack than a simple internal combustion engine? You bet.

    We as consumers need to stay educated and come to the understanding that the numbers we’ve been fed, such as horsepower, torque and miles per gallon aren’t all that important. We need to worry about other values just as much, such as cost of operation and total cost of ownership. We need to know how to compare the numbers from one vehicle type to another in relevant ways.

    Around the time I bought that Corolla I mentioned above, gas was about $2.50 a gallon. I was driving about 30 miles a day. The truck was costing me about $280 to fuel plus $60 to insure. (As it is partially based on weight, VA’s BS personal property tax was up there as well, but I don’t remember what it was. Also the tires I was wearing out on the truck cost twice as much as the car but I’m trying to keep this simple.) So about $340 just to operate the truck, which was paid for. When I switched to the car, I was paying $320 a month to buy it plus $80 to insure it. For the same amount of driving, my fuel use dropped to about $55 a month.

    $455 for the car vs $340 for the truck. When you compare these numbers, driving a brand new car cost me an extra $115 a month with just my average driving. The comparable savings went up the more I drove it. (That was 2 fewer nights a month at the bar, as I noted at the time.)

    If everybody did math this way, the roads would be a different place.

    • human_shield says:

      Exactly! People love to buy new economical cars and laugh at the SUV drivers, but many of those truck/suv drivers are spending a lot less per year to drive. Most people just don’t think about the big picture.

  52. majortom1981 says:

    I am going to laught at all the SUV owners out there.

    go ahead tell me that you need your suv then i will tell you why did you not buy say a subaru outback wagon our outback sport.

    Still tons of storage room and better AWD then most suv’s 4wd.

  53. speaknmymind61 says:

    If we remember back approx. 3 yrs ago, the gas prices started rising out of control and shortly after – everything else bottomed out – if we think it’s been a rollercoaster ride so far – we better hold on tight because I’m afraid we’re in for a submarine ride and who’s gonna bale us out then. The government does have a roll in everything now – DON’T THEY GET IT – OR MAYBE THEY DO!

  54. bananaboat says:

    $5 gas, probably not in the next year or two. The economy (demand) will crash at $4 though greed/speculation might push it higher towards $5. The higher amount will just cause a harder and faster economic crash. So many consumers make the same or less money compared to a few years ago and other rising costs have consumed any buffer to tolerate $4.

  55. justjoe says:

    Stories of $4 gas make me not regret purchasing a Vespa. I’m already paying $3.50/gal but I get 60+ MPG! Of course I can ride it year-round out here in CA.

  56. pliers says:

    I’ve said it before…the last time gas prices rose, not one single person drove 50-55 on the highway. Everyone just whizzed by me, disposable coffee cup in hand, yakking on the cell phone. What would happen if people decreased the demand by 10-15% with this completely passive measure? I defy everyone that reads this to take these steps: keep your tires inflated, drive 50-55 on the highway and drive moderately on surface roads, e.g. coast to red lights. But alas, no one will do it, because we’re ‘Mericuns. Prove me wrong.

  57. graytotoro says:

    The Mazda 2 is looking better and better everyday. Sure doesn’t hurt that it’s cute and comes with a ‘stick, either.

  58. Justinh6 says:

    Matters little to me. Currently about $3.30 right now. Say it goes up 70 cents, I buy 10 gallons per week. $7 extra per week to drive around my 30mpg car.

    Buy a couple less expressos? People can surely cut a couple of 12 packs of soda out of their lifestyle as well.

  59. OnePumpChump says:

    Funny, I don’t see anything about commodities speculation there.

    If it were just demand in India and China driving prices, the increase should be steadier than it has been. There should be the seasonal sawtooth pattern, but not this multiannual periodic increase.

    If CNBC were a newspaper, you could at least wipe your ass with it.

  60. bearymore says:

    Once again, we can thank Goldman Sachs – this time it’s their Commodities Index futures. Matt Taibbi, summarizes this beautifully in his latest book, Griftopia.

  61. smartmuffin says:

    While Consumerist (and 90% of its commeters) have spent the last two years mocking those who were predicting hyperinflation, some of us were preparing for this, mentally at least. This is inflation, period. ALL commodities are rapidly surging, not just oil. And PLEASE don’t tell me about the CPI. The CPI is a joke and nobody who knows anything at all about economics takes it seriously.

  62. BrownPinoy says:

    let me start dusting off my motocycle

  63. aaron8301 says:

    What you holier-than-thou MPG elitists forget is that some people buy SUVs because we NEED them.

    I bought my 4×4 Suburban because I live in a northern, mountainous area that gets lots of snow. I also pull several different trailers with it. In the summer, I pull a travel trailer and load the Sub with the wife, two kids, and a couple other friends and go out to the Pacific Ocean beach, where the 4×4 comes in real handy in the sand. In the winter, I drive up forest service roads with a foot of unplowed snow to cut down a Christmas tree the old-fashioned way.

    Let’s see your wagon do that.

    • OnePumpChump says:

      I grew up in Alaska. The people who lived in the hills on the unpaved, unplowed roads that were snow and ice half the year and mud half of the remainder usually owned trucks, or full-sized SUVs. But they daily drove Subarus.

      And if you can’t cram all that crap in a GL, you aren’t trying.

      Your Suburban is only a fair-to-middling choice for your purposes.

    • ccooney says:

      fake outrage is fake. Most of the people who buy SUVs never leave pavement; I’m not sure what to do about it (don’t like being in front of an idjit in a lifted 4×4), aside from requiring stricter licensing, so at least they’ve got vehicle specific training

    • SilverBlade2k says:

      No one ‘Needs’ anything beyond food/water/shelter/basic transportation

      Do you ‘Need’ to pull a travel trailer? as in you will DIE without it?…probably not

      Do you ‘Need’ multiple trailers all year round? probably not.

      Do you ‘Need’ to take a few friends when they probably have their own cars to take? Probably not.

      Before you go on your next fake outrage, remember this: YOU are part of the reason why gas prices are creeping higher. If SUV-buyers took a step back and REALLY thought about what they ‘Need’ versus what they ‘want’, they would probably buy something less thirsty that can fulfill 80% of their needs.

      Also, for the road trips that only happen once or twice a year, you do not ‘need’ an SUV, you ‘need’ a basic car and you can ‘rent’ an SUV for the trips.

      Don’t complain about the high price of gas, when you are, indirectly, part of the problem.

  64. Party Bus Limo says:

    Here is Similar Story

    With the economy kinda sorta picking up, and consumers in China, India and Brazil buying cars in droves, gas prices are expected to keep going up, and may hit $4 a gallon by early spring, when Americans finish scraping the ice off of their windshields and begin planning road trips. And unlike 2008, when gas last broke the $4 barrier, only to later drop to lower prices, $4 may be a new baseline, followed by $5 gas as early as next year

  65. bobt says:

    Many consequences will come out of this. Car manufacturers will be under even more pressure to develop vehicles that consume the fewest amount gas, the price of food and other goods will also increase, many businesses that rely on transportation as part of their daily operations will have to shed the increase of fuel on to their customers (I.E. delivery companies, public transportation, etc) It will also hurt many retail and tourism businesses as fewer people will be going anywhere unless its absolutely essential, like buying groceries, going to work and so on. This will only lead to a down ward spiral for the economy.

  66. Chipzilla says:

    Here in Ireland, unleaded is €1.45/liter. That works out at $5.48/gallon….

    Tax makes up the majority of the price.

    Other European countries are more expensive.

  67. blanddragon says:

    The slow painful screwing of Americans continues. Not just foreigners doing it. Your own fellow citizens are greasing up too again.

  68. pot_roast says:

    Record high supply, much lower than expected demand. Even OPEC says it’s wall street speculators driving the prices up.

    “”The only thing that I’m concerned about is the pressure exerted by speculators, analysts and some investors in the futures market on prices to push them up or down away from market fundamentals,” he said.” – Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi

  69. sumocat says:

    Already ready already. Wife and I moved close to work and carpool in our Toyota Prius. If gas doesn’t hit $5, then I did a whole lot of preparation for nothing. Well, nothing aside from the convenience of have a ten-minute commute.

  70. Horselady says:

    SO glad I got a Prius, even though I have to have car pymts again….
    I don’t mind paying higher gas prices, anyway, because I want to see less
    people driving giant SUVs

  71. JadePharaoh says:

    Looks like that “double-dip” recession that some people have been talking about is gonna be a reality after all. Not that the oil companies will care; they’ll be back to making “record profits” once again.

  72. remusrm says:

    I did… i got a mazda2 and I get 30/40mpg city/hwy… even more if i drive slower