Cash-Conserving Commutes

Affordable Transportation Alternatives while Gas Prices are Sky High

    All across the county gas prices have been going up and especially in our home state of California, where gas prices are the highest in the nation. Now people want to know why the price at the pump has risen so much and in what ways they can soften the blow on their wallets.

   Petroleum production is not quick in increasing production when it comes to sudden spikes in demand and as the pandemic winds down and demand for gasoline rises rapidly, supply remains inadequate, leading to higher prices.

   Economic sanctions placed on Russia following their invasion of Ukraine cut off the exports of the Russian state, which is the third-largest oil producer in the world, limiting the supply of gasoline even more.

 This explains the national rise in gas prices, but what about California’s high prices? The answer: environmental regulations and taxes. Californians pay about 73 cents per gallon in taxes alone, the highest in the nation to maintain and expand our state’s vast freeway system.

    California also requires that gas sold in the state be reformulated gasoline, which burns cleaner and has lower emissions. The downside is only a few refineries have the facilities to produce this special gas, so when the state’s refineries fail to meet demand, its gas must be imported from special refineries in countries like South Korea, only increasing the price.

   Though gas prices are obscene and only becoming less and less affordable, there are plenty of alternative methods of transport that can fit comfortably in most budgets. For those already in the market for a new car, an all-electric or hybrid choice is the way to go. While Teslas and Priuses are typically the poster children of the bunch, almost every major automobile company now offers some kind of electric vehicle.

    If you can’t commit to such an investment, public transportation should not be neglected. Using services  like buses, light rails, or trains can curb your own expenses and, for the environmentally conscious, maximize the amount of commuters on the same tank of fuel. Though not available yet, Orange County has made significant strides towards expanding its public transport infrastructure with the development of the OC Streetcar that will run through Orange and Santa Ana.  

   If footing the bill for your fuel is unavoidable, check if your gas station of choice offers a rewards system or special credit card that could preserve a few of your precious cents.

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