Gas prices are up 25 cents from January, and in all probability will top the record ($4.11 in July 2008) by the end of April. That's when refineries begin producing a different, more expensive formula required for summer.
At a time when more oil production at home remained shelved, along with the Keystone pipeline project, one wonders where the outrage is. American consumers are struggling to make ends meet, and although the current administration says it is doing everything it can to bring prices down, the policies just aren't working. Wouldn't it be nice to get ahead of a problem instead of chasing one?
The national average this year began at $3.28 a gallon. So far this month, the price has jumped to $3.49, reports MSNBC. Prices are much higher on the two coasts because states charge higher taxes on gas, and in New York and California, the average is around $3.70. That's a huge hit for the American household. Add to that the skyrocketing cost of food, and once again, where's the outrage?
Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy and Economic Research said, "When the price gets anywhere near $4, you really see people react." That may be true, but waiting for something to happen to react seems like an ostrich policy. This administration should act, not wait to react.
So once again, consumers endure the destructive brunt of indecision. They will drive less, unless of course they have the luxury of a hybrid vehicle, which most can't afford to begin with.
The high gas prices at the pumps this early in the year are a gloomy indication of what is to come, with Spring just around the corner. There will be dire consequences in store for the American consumer, at a time when most just can't afford another set-back, but it's curious that there doesn't seem to be the same outrage that has surfaced in the past.
Gas prices are just the tip of the iceberg. Have you bought a pound of butter or cheese lately? Perhaps consumers have just become immune to sticker shock at the grocery store...and at the pumps.