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Benefits of Higher Gas Prices: Why I Don't Mind Paying More at the Pump (Hubnugget Contest Winner)

Updated on July 11, 2012
Filling a gas tank can feel like pouring money down the tube
Filling a gas tank can feel like pouring money down the tube | Source

What good can come of rising gas prices?

We all grumble these days as we’re filling our gas tanks, with gasoline prices rising to almost $4.00/gallon. And, yet, even as I’m shaking my fist at the gas pump, I can’t help but feel secretly happy that gas prices are rising. Sure, I’m not happy about some of the causes (e.g., nuclear threat from Iran) and I certainly want something to be done for people for whom this poses a real economic hardship.

However, rising gasoline prices has a host of potential short and long-term consequences that are good for people’s and the environment’s health, and may ultimately lead to more affordable and convenient forms of energy-efficient transportation for those who need it most.

Here’s the breakdown of why I support higher gas prices.

(1) Higher gas prices encourage people to walk or bike

When gas prices go up, people often think twice about getting in their cars, especially for short trips. Biking or walking to work or to run errands saves time and money, adds exercise into your daily routine, and helps reduce pollution. See Top Reasons to Bike to Work for more information.

As the number of people who bike commute increases, city planners may see benefits to improving the bikeability of their streets.

Public transportation options seem more alluring
Public transportation options seem more alluring | Source

(2) Higher gas prices encourage people to find alternate forms of transportation

Another way people save money when gas prices are high is to form carpools or use public transportation. Indeed, rising gas prices are associated with greater use of trains and buses. Like biking or walking, public transportation is good for the environment, reducing gas consumption and pollution by decreasing the number of vehicles on the road. It also saves people money, reducing costs associated with buying, owning, and maintaining a car. Even if you already own a car, using it less will help reduce costs associated with wear and tear. Finally, those using public transportation often also increase exercise by walking to and from the train/bus station.

Placing an increased demand on public transportation services may also put pressure on public transportation agencies to increase their reach, making it more accessible to a greater range of people.

Greener, more fuel-efficient cars
Greener, more fuel-efficient cars | Source

(3) Higher gas prices discourage the purchase and use of gas-guzzling cars

As gas prices rise, consumers are likely to seek alternatives to large, low-mileage SUVs and trucks in favor or smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. While it may take time to see major shifts in this trend, people on the market for new cars will likely choose more fuel-efficient options. Alternatives such as electric and hybrid cars need precisely this increased demand to accelerate production and take advantage of their own economies of scale.

(4) Higher gas prices encourage the development of vehicles fueled by renewable energy sources

Politicians will continue to argue about who is to blame for rising gasoline prices and what should be done about it. World events often beyond our control impact oil prices. It is clear that renewable forms of energy, such as wind, solar, and bio-diesel energy, would decrease our dependence on gasoline. Renewable energy sources are naturally replenished, will never run out, and have minimal impact on the environment.

Higher Gas Prices Leads to Long-Term Benefits

We can all agree that high gasoline prices are a drag. But, while It may take time, higher gas prices may ultimately help transform a society that is currently highly depending on gasoline into one with a more far-reaching public transportation system, decreased pollution, increased individual health, and more self-reliance. These benefits may well be worth the pain at the pump.

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  • Jed Fisher profile image

    Jed Fisher 5 years ago from Oklahoma

    Higher gas prices are great for city folk, and people in cities are easier for the government to manipulate and control. Us folks living in the heartland, even those living in the smaller cities, are getting pounded into the ground by higher gas prices. Gas is the only thing that isn't cheaper in the country. We need to drive fifty miles or more every day, we need large, rugged, reliable vehicles capable of cross-country mobility. It's a matter of getting to work on time when the weather is bad. A matter of having enough cargo space to haul a month's worth of groceries, things like that.

    These gas prices are ridiculous. The production cost of gasonline can't be that high. It's price gouging of the worst kind.

  • AboutInvesting profile image

    AboutInvesting 5 years ago from United States

    In theory, all of your points are valid but for some of us who have to commute long distances, walking or biking to and from work just isn't a possibility. For most people, higher gas prices have an impact similar to a tax increase. Not good for the economy and certainly not good for those who are trying to provide for a family.

  • Davesworld profile image

    Davesworld 5 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

    Higher gas prices raise the price of just about everything making it more and more difficult for lower income and fixed income people to get by. They damage the economy, lead to layoffs which just makes a bad situation worse. No good can come of this.

  • rebeccamealey profile image

    Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

    My son in law was driving a long distance to work after choosing to move to the country. He works for a major computer company, I will withhold the name. His job is completely doable from home. After almost a year he finally

    convinced them to let him work from home. There are things that can be done, maybe not for everyone. But If higher prices causes some conservation I am all for it as long as there is no price gouging. Sometimes we have to cut corners!! I say great Hub!

  • Jed Fisher profile image

    Jed Fisher 5 years ago from Oklahoma

    I had another thought about this. Okay, higher gas prices, more than double what they should be. All that extra money, who gets it and what do they do with it? I think, right now, the oil companies take that extra money and use it to bid up oil prices on the commodities exchange. And buy a few elections.

    The higest actual production cost for oil is Oil Sands in Canada, and that's $40 a barrel. Who's getting that other $80 a barrel and what are they doing with that money? I'll betcha they aren't using it for alternatives.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Rebecca, thanks for reading and for your response. I agree that there are a lot of things that can be done to decrease our reliance on gas, which would benefit everyone.

    Jed, I'm glad my hub has gotten you thinking about this! You make a good point - perhaps right now the extra $ isn't going to the best place. Despite that, I think that the higher gas prices might lead to unintended benefits (outlined above). Even if the surplus $ isn't going directly into production, changes in people's behavior/demands can put the pressure on manufacturers to make changes in commercial production of goods and on the government to restructure incentives.

  • Sandiaview profile image

    Sandiaview 5 years ago from New Mexico

    Very thoughtful article, Laura. I agree that the increase in gas prices could have some really beneficial (although temporarily painful) results. This country is like a drug addict with its oil consumption, and our drug dealer doesn't have our best interests at heart. Our foreign oil reliance is a matter of national security, and I'm wondering why our government doesn't see this and proactively do something about it, calling all of us to "do our part", as we did in WWII.

    There are immediate options that would ease our pain at the pump. We could drop the maximum speed limit, as we did in the 1970s, and right away save millions of barrels of oil as a country and get much better gas mileage as individuals. Is anyone really willing to do this, though? If all of us, as individuals, got out our air pressure gauges and filled up their tires, we could also save millions of barrels of oil, as a country. Seriously! I can't remember the exact number, but I heard it on NPR, and it was amazing!

    I hope that this latest crisis will encourage alternative fuel vehicles and a whole host of other solutions. Even if we relied more on diesel, as the Europeans do, we could improve our situation. Although, I'd like to know why my 2000 diesel Jetta got 54 miles per gallon, but the new ones only get around 40... What's up with that?

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 5 years ago

    LauraGT

    I have written a lot about oil and gas issues and I worked for the oil and gas industry for 22 years. I will agree with most everything you have stated in your Hub. My one sticking point is the issue of alternative fuels. There was a story in today's paper about General Motors cutting back on the production of the Chevrolet Volt, an electric car. The car only gets 35 to 40 miles per charge and then the gasoline engine takes over. For the price of the car, this is not a good tradeoff. Wind, solar, etc, have applications, but they are not going to reduce our dependence on gasoline.

    The one fuel that might reduce gasoline dependence is natural gas. Because of all the gas found in the shale formations in recent years and the estimated reserves, it is time for the alternative fuel supporters to get behind one alternative fuel, natural gas.

    I grant you, it is a fossil fuel. Wells have to be drilled. Pipelines have to be used and a lot of the issues attached to oil production apply to gas production. However, there is an abundance of natural gas.

    While I disagree with you on these points, your Hub was well written and informative. I give you a

    The issue is going to be to develop the delivery system that is going to be use. It is unlikely that we will be able to put a gas valve at our homes and fill up there.

    Thus the cost of the infrastructure will have to be recovered through the cost of the fuel, which may make it more expensive than some would imagine and we will have to phase it in. Today's cars that run on gasoline cannot be converted to natural gas. Some people might say it is possible, but attempts will be costly and results will be disappointing.

    However, natural gas is the key to the alternative fuels issue. You will still have to pay taxes on the amount of natural gas you purchase for your vehicle. The federal government and the states will figure out a conversion method to get the same amount of revenue,or maybe a little more.

    I will disagree with you on the biking to work concept. If you have a professional job where you have to wear a suit (man or woman), a five mile bike ride will not go well. If you are a woman in heels trying to do that, you have my sympathy. In some areas, it might be possible. However, because of urban sprawl, biking is not areal alternative, especially for us old folks, with arthritic knees. It is also a problem when it rains, snows, etc.

    Regarding your Jetta and its mileage, the difference in mileage can be attributed at least in part to EPA mandates regarding fuel emissions. Also, I do not know if the diesel you were using in 2000 gets the same mileages as the low sulfur diesel we are using today. Also, there are variables in the car, such as engine size, accessories, body design, etc.

    While we disagree on a couple of points, your Hub was well written and interesting. I vote up and marked it interesting.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Sandiaview, thanks so much for your comments. You make excellent points and give some great tips for how we can each make small changes that would help. At the very least, hopefully the "pain at the pump" may lead to some more political will to make change happen.

    Larry Wall, thanks for your comments. Have you written a hub on the natural gas issue? If not, it's mostly written above! :)

    Re: biking to work, I used my bike as my primary means of transportation for years, when I lived about 6 miles from work. I biked even in the winter in Boston. I was lucky that my office had a shower. I think more workplaces these days have showers, and many people do OK showering before they leave and then wiping themselves down with a washcloth when they get there (depends on the weather, of course!) I know it's not feasible for everyone, but certainly more people could do it than do now. There are lots of great resources out there for how to commute by bike. Here's one I just found:

    http://zenhabits.net/6-tips-for-commuting-to-work-...

    And this one has tons of bike commuting information:

    http://www.commutebybike.com/2007/08/16/a-guide-to...

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 5 years ago

    LauraGT

    I have not done a natural gas hub yet--good idea, actually there is a lot more to it that what I had in my response.

    Riding to work in Boston is one thing, riding a bike to work in Louisiana in 95 degrees temperatures and 90 percent humidity, is something else. My commute is about eight miles and at 60 with arthritic knees, I will have to leave that option available for the younger set. In some cases biking will work. People who use their cars to attend meetings, call on clients, etc have to have their cars.

    Thanks for your comments.

    Larry

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Larry - look forward to reading your hub on natural gas!

  • Victoria Lynn profile image

    Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

    While high gas prices do hurt many people, your article makes us think about our reliance on gas and forces us and car makers to look at greener alternatives. Nice hub. Voted up, interesting, awesome!

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Thanks Victoria Lynn. I'm glad the article got you thinking. At the very least, hopefully the hardship can have a positive outcome by putting pressure on politicians and others to make a change!

  • profile image

    TXmom 5 years ago

    Laura, very interesting perspective. I never thought there were ANY benefits, but i guess you're right that something needs to kick us into gear to change how we use energy in our country.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    TXmom, thanks for reading and commenting. Hopefully we're at a critical moment and we'll be able to look back soon from a place where we have different, renewable energy sources that are reasonable for most people to afford and use. :)

  • profile image

    mikeydcarroll67 5 years ago

    I can understand some of the points that you have made here. A lot of them are very valid but sometimes there is a gap between reality and theory.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Hi Mikeydcarroll67. That's one way to look at it. Another is that change requires vision, and persistence. Hopefully we can close the gap between "reality and theory" even if it takes extra time and work. Thanks for commenting!

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Lasertekservices, can you explain some more what you mean?

  • cat on a soapbox profile image

    Catherine Tally 5 years ago from Los Angeles

    Hi Laura, I really enjoyed this hub and like your approach to the "silver lining" in high fuel costs. Commenters points are all well-taken. I think each of us can take something from the suggestions here and cut both fuel usage and costs. Carpooling, cycling, hybrid cars, mass transit which is often natural gas powered, and working from home when possible are all viable alternatives.

  • jenniferg78 profile image

    jenniferg78 5 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

    As many have commented, the good side of things works mostly in cities that have good transportation. But, if you live in a rural area maybe it is time to ban together and insist on public transportation for middle america, as well. Sure, you won't have a subway every 5 minutes but any improvement can help. Put some of the profit into that!

  • farru profile image

    farru 5 years ago from Lahore

    It is funny hub for me?

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Cat on a soapbox: Yes, I believe that small changes in individual behavior can lead to bigger changes for our society. Every little bit helps!

    Jenniferg78: Yes, we need to give more though for how this plays out for those in rural areas. But, yes, public pressure on elected officials for public transportation and other improvements can make a difference.

    There are countless examples of how price has influenced human behavior for the better. Take smoking, for example. Price is one of the biggest determinants of whether teens will initiate smoking. Every nickel increase in price shoots down the uptake of smoking among teens. And, combined with other tobacco control policies, the US has managed to see a massive decrease in smoking rates in our country. I see something similar here, whereby increased rates, policy changes, and changes in attitudes could influence a major shift in our use of gas. I feel a new hub coming on... :)

    Thanks for your comments everyone!

  • cyoung35 profile image

    Chad Young 5 years ago from Corona, CA

    This is a great way to look at the glass as half full. We have been so dependant on oil that most everything we use is made of a petroleum product. This definitely will help us evolve into a greener society...Great hub!

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Thanks for reading and commenting, cyoung. I hope you're right! :)

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 5 years ago

    LauraGT

    I will take your word on the decrease in smoking by teens, but I seem to see more young people smoking today than a few years ago--but nothing I can prove.

    However, I will add that there are some crazy ideas in this state. Many states, including my home state, add an extra tax onto cigarette prices with the proceeds to go to health care. In Louisiana, whenever a function of government, the general fund allocation is reduced. Therefore, health care is now partially dependent on the tax derived from cigarette sales. If those sales drop significantly, then the tax revenues for health care in this state will drop. We are talking about the classic Catch 22 situation. We need smokers to fund health care but we are encouraging people not to smoke, which will leave less money for programs aimed at urging people not so smoke.

    Sometimes, things get a little weird.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Hi Larry. Very interesting. I do believe teen smoking rates are still on the decline - thought the rates of decrease have slowed. At least rates are still much lower than they were a decade ago, a great thing!

    A lot of screwy things happened with the 1998 tobacco settlement money, and those of us in the public health field are not too happy about it. That money was supposed for tobacco prevention, but now is being used largely to support infrastructure and other costs, as you mentioned. We definitely can't have a system that is reliant on smokers to fund health care costs! That's very interesting, and horrible. It's all very complicated, isn't it!?

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 5 years ago

    LauraGT:

    At this point in our history, I cannot think of a single issue that is not overly complicated. Maybe it has always been that way, but with the political and parochial factionalism that exists today, everything seems to be overly complicated.

    I just noticed that in my previous comment something was left out. I think you understood what I was saying, but for sake of clarity let me make this correction:

    Louisiana, whenever a function of government--gets a dedicated revenue source--(this was left out by mistake), the general fund allocation is reduced.

  • ib radmasters profile image

    ib radmasters 5 years ago from Southern California

    Laura

    Good intentions pave the way to Hell, and this hub has its wheels stuck in the inferno.

    You make it sound like millions of people can change the way that they use their car. Like miraculously public transportation gets to even miles from where they work.

    That people have money to even fix the cars that they have already, much less get a new, or even newer fuel efficient car.

    Politicians could care less about changing the current system as they make revenue off of fuel.

    The government has done nothing to change our dependence on foreign oil in the last thirty plus years, why would they start now?

    BTW, in CA the gasoline prices are as high as $4.70 a gallon.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Thanks ib radmasters for reading and commenting. I agree that what I've outlined is not feasible for a some people - some live too far from work or don't have public transportation accessible, etc. and that this poses a real economic hardship for many - we need to find solutions of those folks.

    But, there *are* millions of people who could make small but important changes in the way they get around. Consolidating errands, driving more slowly (yes, this saves gas), not idling their cars, carpooling, taking public transportation when possible, etc.

    And, politically, I do think it is an uphill battle and will not be without some pain, but these things do change over time. People need to place pressure on their representatives. This can be direct (by calling/writing them, etc.) or indirect (more people taking public transportation is a way of placing a demand). Think about the advances we *have* made re: renewable energy, etc. Who ever thought there would be electric cars 30 years ago? But, there are now!

  • EmmaMedu profile image

    EmmaMedu 5 years ago

    This is great hub, I enjoyed reading it.

    I never thought that higher gas prices have their benefits. But, when you put it this way it makes sense.

    I agree that people shoud walk more and pay more attention to nature. By this I mean spending less time in a car and more riding a bike or taking a train. Sharing one car for several people is also a great idea. Today everyone would like to have its own car and many families have several cars. If the gas price increases, people will think twice about using cars every day.

  • clintonb profile image

    clintonb 5 years ago from Adelaide, Australia

    Exercise and fitness is def a good thing!

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Thanks EmmaMedu and Clintonb for reading and commenting! Glad to provide a new perspective for you. Thinking about the potential health benefits of people relying more on their bodies' natural fuel is pretty exciting. :)

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 5 years ago

    People are too dependent upon cars. Every family member does not need one. Most families do not need two SUVs. But many of us do need cars. We need mass transit, but that is a political hot potato. For example, in my hometown, Baton Rouge, a property tax is being proposed to provide a steady source of income to the municipal bus system. The fares it collects are not enough. Opponents say no one is using the bus system, so why put money into it. Proponents argue, and I think correctly, that if the system, had more money, it could add more buses, expand its routes and run in a more timely manner.

    Thee has been talk of building a high-speed railroad between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Sounds lie a good idea, but it is not gong anywhere. First, the Governor declined to accept the federal grant because the state lacked the matching funds. Then you have the problem of what you do when you get to your destination. Baton Rouge is unusual when it comes to Taxi Cabs. They do not park in front of Hotels or other similar places and do not roam the streets. New Orleans has cabs in front of every major hotel and will pick up fares on the street. However, we have some strange laws that says a cab based in one parish (county for the rest of you) it can take a passenger to another parish, but it cannot pickup a passenger in that parish while it makes its return trip to its home base.

    Mass transit sounds like it should be an easy idea. It works in New York and Washington D.C., but other communities do not embrace it.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Very interesting Larry. It's fascinating to look at the complexities of this issue. You touched on some things that would be needed to push people more towards accepting/using public transportation (e.g., revamp of cab practices and regulations - Boston/Cambridge is the same way - A cambridge cab can't pick up a fare in Boston unless that person specifically called that cab company - amazing for cities where you can actually walk from one to the other!)

    What else do you think would help push people towards embracing public transportation more fully?

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 5 years ago

    I think the ultimate answer is the ease of navigating within a city. In my hometown, the so-called central business district, is actually the governmental district. However, governmental offices are miles from the city courthouse. There is no easy way to get from point A to point B. THe first step is a metro bus system, but they are limited by traffic congestion. Subways are not possible in Louisiana--the water table is so high, you need boats on underground streams. Elevated transportation, similar to what they have in Chicago is not likely to occur. So, I do not think there is any easy answer. It is going to take a virtualy redesign of the city, which will take decades to implement. It was decades before everyone had access to electrical power. That only required building a new infrastructure. Rebuilding a community to make it more user friendly, is going to be a monumental task--one that I will not see in my lifetime.

  • Rock_nj profile image

    John Coviello 5 years ago from New Jersey

    One benefit of these higher gas prices is that car sales appear to be rising because people have realized that high gas prices are here to stay and it's time to trade in the gas guzzler for a car that gets good gas mileage.

    We need to kick our oil consumption habit in the U.S. Higher gas and oil prices are the one thing that make make switching to alternative make sense to most people.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Larry Wall: Thanks for you're always insightful response!

    Rock_nj: Great point re: car versus SUV sales. At least things are moving in the right direction there.

  • profile image

    DianaFG 5 years ago

    This was a great hub and an amazing discussion. Thanks, Laura, for the Hub and taking the time to respond to all of the comments. I agree with your points and I'd like to put an extra plug in for discouraging people to idle their motors in their cars. All the time I see people keeping their engines run while in park for a long time: in parking lots, waiting to pick up their children from school, warming up their cars when it's not very cold out, workmen in between jobs... People can listen to the radio with only the battery on, and heat isn't necessary unless it's very cold, in which case it's better to go indoors. I wish I had a good statistic on how much gas we could save and how much pollution/related illness we could avoid if people stopped idling.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    DianaFG, another great point, and great tips for ways to save gas!

  • AdT70 profile image

    AdT70 5 years ago

    Great points about the need for solutions, LauraGT! We need to make these tradeoffs (ie, bike/bus instead of car) a more practical reality, but I think what people are saying here is that there is nothing on the horizon that makes this seem possible for, say, the rural pickup truck driver who has plenty of 50 mile drives in their regular lives. Anyone on this thread have ideas? who could create new transportation options? would government do this? private industry? both?

  • profile image

    Erica 5 years ago

    Great post, Laura. Glad to see a blogger express my thoughts in such an articulate way!

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    AdT70: Great questions! I would love to learn more about how to improve transportation options for folks living in more rural areas and those hit hardest by the increased gas prices. This definitely needs more thought and attention. Would love to hear other people's ideas too!

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 5 years ago

    Rural areas have their own set of unique problems--because they are rural. They have septic tanks instead of sewerage treatment systems. They have water wells instead of getting water from a local utility. They have electricity because they form co-ops that buy from larger utilities.

    The do not have the convenience of walking across the street to the local convenience store at midnight. Doctors and hospitals are close.

    The first thought would be to have everyone move to a more urban area, but that is not feasible and probably unconstitutional.

    Distance is a tremendous barrier to assuring that everyone has access to the same things as everyone else. I know of no simple or practical solution to this issue.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Thanks for chiming in Larry. I do think the rural issue is something that will require more thought, inquiry, discussion, and a longer-term perspective. I don't want that issue to be pushed aside or minimized. At the same time, something like 80% of the US population lives in urban areas (makes sense!), so I think focuses there for some of the changes is a good way to start. Ultimately, reducing our reliance on gasoline would benefit everyone, though it may take time!

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 5 years ago

    I agree with you completely--especially on your last statement--it will take time. Changing from a motor fuel source we have used for more than 100 years to something different is not going to be done overnight. It will indeed take time.

  • LauraGT profile image
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    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    If you enjoyed reading this hub, please click below to vote for it in this week's Hubnugget Contst! Thanks!

    http://hubpages.com/politics...

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Haze 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Laura, interesting viewpoint. City people are lucky in that they can walk to most everything. As for us rural folks we just have to learn to carpool and make each trip count. How true it is that becoming less dependent on gas would benefit us all.

  • profile image

    Herb G TX 5 years ago

    Laura,

    Thank you for your thoughtful and interesting blog post. Many urban and suburban areas have very poor or no public transportation systems, leaving autos the only practical mode of transportation. In European countries, high gas prices resulting from very high fuel taxes have fostered the development of superior public transportation systems. Higher prices here, might force a similar effort here in areas where it is much needed.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    KoffeeKlatch Gals: Thanks for commenting! Yes, carpooling and combining errands is another way people in less densely populated areas can help make a difference. Thanks for the tips!

    Herb G TX: Thanks for reading. It is interesting to look at Europe as an example. Gas prices are generally double there what they are in the US and cars are smaller. Of course, the population is a lot more dense, but it is definitely a model worth exploring. Thanks for the comment!

  • KevinG1979 profile image

    KevinG1979 5 years ago

    I've thought for a while that gasoline should be more expensive, simply because it is dangerous stuff!

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Kevin, thanks for your comment and perspective!

  • ripplemaker profile image

    Michelle Simtoco 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

    Now if you really think about it there is the positive side of things and you just mentioned many of them. Loved it!

    Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination! This way please to read and vote https://hubpages.com/community/The-Good-the-Bad-an...

  • LauraGT profile image
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    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Thanks Ripplemaker! It's fun being the nominee. :)

  • Better Yourself profile image

    Better Yourself 5 years ago from North Carolina

    Great hub, and great comments on the hub! It would be nice to have better alternatives that save us all money and especially ones that would cause less to no harm to our environment.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Better Yourself: Thanks for reading and commenting. Hopefully we're on the road to better alternatives (sorry, couldn't help the pun!) :)

  • Horatio Plot profile image

    Horatio Plot 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, England.

    Hi Laura

    In the UK the price of a litre of fuel is 60% tax. We pay about £1.45p per litre which works out as $8.75 per US gallon. Yet we continue to drive and to pay.

    Why? Because we prefer our cars to any other form of transport, that’s why. A recent survey in the UK revealed 86% of all private journeys are performed by car. Until there is a viable alternative this will continue to be the case. Strangely there is no world shortage of oil pushing the price up. It is the continuing effect of the power of OPEC. At this moment over 100 tankers laden with the stuff are sailing the high seas looking for a home.

    Governments will continue to fleece us, as they have through history with “beard” taxes and “window” taxes until we can really zip around in electric cars that actually get somewhere before they run out of juice. And then governments will tax the crap out of those.

    And we have to produce the electricity to power the cars as well – most likely by burning oil.

    Interesting Hub. Lots to debate.

    Good luck with the nomination, by the way.

    Horatio.

  • Cherrietgee profile image

    Cherrietgee 5 years ago from Illinois

    LauraGT,

    Your hub was definitely interesting, but I can't say that I fully agree with it.

    I think some people are looking into purchasing more energy efficient/fuel efficient vehicles, but there are others who don't have that luxury - people such as myself who have one more car payment on their gas guzzler and no additional funds to purchase something that's a little nicer on gas.

    Then there are people in situations similar to the one Jed Fisher mentioned - those who must commute long distances for work. I have an hour and a half commute one way via car. I tried public transportation - one train and two different buses. I ended up spending about the same in train tickets and bus fare as I would have in gas; plus it took me two hours to get to work and three hours to get home.

    I suppose I really struggled with this article because none of the benefits apply to me. Don't get me wrong...it was very interesting, and I found myself wishing I could take advantage of some of your suggestions. I guess I'm just a little jealous.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Horatio Plot: Thanks for commenting. Illuminating a UK perspective.

    Cherrietgee: Thanks so much for your comments. I'm glad this article made you think! Of course not all of these ideas can apply to everyone. But, if a lot of people who could make changed did, it could make a big difference in how we use gasoline. Thanks for reading!

  • BizVT34 profile image

    BizVT34 5 years ago from USA

    LauraGT, like many on here I agree but..... but, the marketing of green is far ahead of the benefits of green. For instance, trading in an 15mpg car for a new 25mpg car is bad economically and bad environmentally. I read recently that it takes an enormous amount of energy to make a new car. The energy consumed in manufacturing and transporting that new car will far outweigh the benefits of an additional 10 mile per gallon in fuel efficiency. From an economic standpoint at 15mpg over 100,000 miles you will need 6,666 gallons....at 25mpg you'll need 4,000 gallons of gas. The difference between $2.50 gas and $4 gas is only $3,999 over the 100,000 miles. You can't buy a new car for $3,999, as a matter of fact the interest on the new car is probably more than that. A 30mpg new car will only safe you $5,000 over the 100,000 miles. If you want to be environmentally friendly and economically smart ..drive your old gas guzzler until the wheels fall off, then go buy a used cheap car and drive it until the wheels fall off.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Congratulations on your HubNugget nomination.

    You make some good points and I like the way you've organized this hub.

    Voted up, useful and interesting.

  • JON EWALL profile image

    JON EWALL 5 years ago from usa

    LauraGT

    Check it out.Wakeup to REALITY,the need and use of oil and oil products will not disapear.The alternates cost much more than using oil for energy.

    3/26/12

    Executive Branch - POLITICS ENERGY CRISIS

    Domestic drilling advocates WARN of increased global demand for oil, dwindling supply

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/26/domesti...

  • profile image

    Nonala Gauche 5 years ago from Norman, Oklahoma

    I'm for alternative energy, but it's not yet ready for mass consumption. Electric cars don't have the range to be pratical in much of the country and they are expensive compared to the gas powered competition. At present, if everyone drove an electric car, much of the electricity would come from coal fired power plants.

    My immediate concern is our use of foreign oil, bought from people who don't like us. Advances in technology may eventually make fossil fuels a thing of the past. In the meantime we should take full advantage of the resources we have in our own backyard.

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 5 years ago

    Just to add more fuel to the discussion. There have been recent stories, that so much natural gas has been produced, there is no place to store it. All the underground salt caverns, tanks and old wells are almost filled to capacity. Thus, there will be less exploration for gas, with people turning to oil. As more oil is produced the price will come down, but gas supplies will probably get rather low before production ramps up again.

    Storing oil is a lot easier than storing natural gas. Oil can be stored in a tanker. Natural gas, has to be stored under pressure in order to store any significant volume.

    My best guess is that gas prices will stay near where they are today for the summer--some light increase. If we have a cold winter, supplies will drop quickly and prices will go up, because the drillers will be occupied looking for oil.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Thanks all, for your comments and perspective. Glad this has sparked a debate!

  • JON EWALL profile image

    JON EWALL 5 years ago from usa

    LauraGT

    How time changes when the MAN is in charge.

    4/25/08 Obama you tube propaganda video.2008 NOW OBAMA IS THE CHIEF! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnLP12X3EgM

  • profile image

    Mike 5 years ago

    Good points for city dwellers, but not for the millions who live in rural communities with 50 mile commutes to work like most of my friends are doing. We moved to the rural areas to save money on housing and taxes, and now we have no choice but to go broke on gas prices going through the roof.

    Sorry, but millions do not live near a grocery store, or live close to their kids schools and cannot just walk to save gas, they have no choices like you mention. Sure, exersise is important, but going bankrupt with rising prices all fueling this recession makes no sense at all. You may shrugg of rising gas prices living in the city, but what about the rest of us? When gas hits $5.00 this summer, how will you feel then?

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Hi Mike. Thanks for reading and commenting. I agree that higher gas prices pose a real problem for many Americans, and we need to think about reasonable solutions for those people. Keep in mind that about 80% of Americans DO live in urban settings, so if even some of those people made changes, we could shift our reliance on gasoline.

    At the same time, I think rising gas prices can be a wake up call for our nation. The response from our citizens can send a very important message to lawmakers, who can be put under pressure to make changes that will make a real difference in our we get around and our reliance on gasoline.

    Glad this article has struck a chord!

  • profile image

    fatigmon 5 years ago

    When you live in a rural area and it's 45 minutes to the grocery store gas prices can be a real killer. Everything that comes in by truck is more expensive, everything you do is more expensive. If it were just the cost of energy it wouldn't be quite as bad. But it affects the cost of everything from necessities to the frivolous.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Fatigmon: Thanks for the perspective. Yes, gas prices currently impact the cost of many expenditures beyond transportation. Great point!

  • Katharella profile image

    Katharella 5 years ago from Lost in America

    Being in my big Gas Guzzling Chevy Silerado saved my life. I only downsized because I needed a vehicle and it was in my price range.

    As soon as I can either purchase a brand new one or one very similar to what I had, I'm back in my big gas guzzler.

    It was dark, I was on a highway, speed limit 70 as you pass town. Just as I began to pick up speed a black bear that was blending in with the night stepped out in front of me. It pulled me sideways a bit, but into the median. So I let the truck go there to avoid other vehicles to be involved. I walked away in tears that my truck killed the bear, then went "oh yeah my truck" :( but had it been one of the other truckers that are clearing out trees for a bypass, I could have been killed or WORSE, like a vegetable. I'd rather die than be kept alive on machines personally, but I'm getting my gas guzzling truck back as soon as I can!

    I also wouldn't take public transportation just because I COULD BE (lol) a germaphobe! (no offense anyone):) but I can do without being around a lot of strangers where germs are airbone, and a friend of mine has told me he gets a lot less colds since he began doing things as I do. A college mate joked at me for cleaning my keyboard and mouse before class began, but came back one day after 6 weeks out and swore she'd never laugh at anyone for that again because she got sick and coughed so hard she slipped a disk in her back and had to get surgery. So there are advantages to have one on a few notes I guess huh! :) I don't care how high they go, I like my privacy as well. (even if I have to stay home rather than run to the store for that one item I forgot!) :) Great hub! V-up :)

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 5 years ago

    From a safety standpoint, there is a lot to be said for the Gas Guzzlers. Car makers need to find the balance where good gas mileage can be achieved, while building extra protection into cars.

    I drive a mid-size, which we use on the road. My wife loves her compact. To each his own.

  • harmony155 profile image

    harmony155 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

    Why hasn't America embraced the smart cars driven by europeans yet??

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 5 years ago

    Harmony 155

    People want room, horsepower, extras and believe larger cars,SUVs, and trucks are safer and we still like status symbols.

  • Katharella profile image

    Katharella 5 years ago from Lost in America

    Hi Larry, had I stayed in college for what I did best (AutoCAD) I had a perfect smaller car design, but life circumstances changed my course.

    Think about how small the NASCAR's are. Think about what they endure when they flip repeatedly.

    It's not that much more work for that roll bar to circle and bar across the tops. I wanted to design a car, small and safe with these features. I thought, if I can think of this, why are they not already doing it so small and mid sized cars are safer.

    My truck was never a status symbol for me. My dad retired from GMC and always had us in a bigger car, and my truck. When it came to vehicles his motto was bigger is just safer. He rarely had a joyride, when we did it was an educational vacation or learning the safer route.

    Maybe I just grew up paranoid lol :) but - safe. :D

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Well, there's another area to address: making smaller cars safer! And, conversely, making the trucks/SUVs more fuel efficient. We're come a long way on both fronts, but more can be done.

  • JON EWALL profile image

    JON EWALL 5 years ago from usa

    harmony155

    ''Why hasn't America embraced the smart cars driven by europeans yet??''

    Because we Americans are not stupid! Safety first is the american way.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Interesting. I do think there are probably other factors that need to be considered when comparing European vs. American crash fatalities. Size or car may make a difference, but there are also differences in vehicle safety regulations, road design, speed limits/adherence to speed limits, seatbelt use, etc. that contribute to a higher fatality rate in Europe. Also, some European countries do better than us in terms of traffic fatalities. As always, the devil is in the details. Another interesting topic to explore.

  • Katharella profile image

    Katharella 5 years ago from Lost in America

    lol I guess I wasn't clear, the car I had the design on was very small but would have been tossed and rolled into a safer zone not smashed as they are now. The safety roll bars would be built inside the framework of the vehicle and latched as they closed/opened. :)

    Another reason we are not as safe is the lack of law enforcement. Not to mention (but mention) their friends get away with a lot more than the average person. Sadly, unfair.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Katharella: it's true there are many, many factors that influence traffic fatalities. Driver conduct is a major one, as well as policies/enforcement, etc., as you mentioned.

  • profile image

    TXmom 5 years ago

    It would be awesome if our cities were built with the smart growth model in mind so that all modes of getting around were supported

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    TXmom, thanks for commenting and mentioning smartgrowth. This is a relatively recent approach to city planning that is gaining momentum. I think the idea is to create and restructure urban centers in a way that will discourage sprawl and encourage different forms of transportation. It's also interesting because it's very focused on creating a sense of community through community schools and better housing. Another interesting take on this topic. Thanks!

  • JON EWALL profile image

    JON EWALL 5 years ago from usa

    LauraGT

    ''restructure urban centers in a way that will discourage sprawl'' URBAN CENTERS ( INNER POLLUTION IN CITES ) created urban sprawl.Your thinking is like going backwards to just after world war 2.The enviormentals weren't born as yet, they want a world that is different. That's fine, if that's what they the minority want, move to states that have wide open spaces , clean air and pure water.Live in urban centers ( maybe 1000 or more of people) where they can walk to work or whatever.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Hi Jon. I think you'd really be interested in reading more about smart growth. It also includes provisions to make cities more livable in terms of preserving natural resources. Thanks for commenting!

  • JON EWALL profile image

    JON EWALL 5 years ago from usa

    LauraGT

    Give me a link.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

    Hi Jon,

    Here's a quick explanation of smart growth:

    http://www.smartgrowth.org/why.php

    This report gives much more detail.

    http://www.smartgrowthonlineaudio.org/pdf/TISG_200...

    Happy reading. Tell me what you think!

  • JON EWALL profile image

    JON EWALL 5 years ago from usa

    LauraGT

    Smart Growth is old information for me, I have been around a long time.

    The full report was supported by many organizations. Cities and towns have been active in land planning and local development for a long time. Recently many , because of the economy, have been giving developers more leeway in developing their projects. They see the need for jobs and revenue which is the end product of working with developers. Somehow the present administration hasn't discovered that the private sector produces jobs.

    Some comments on the short report:

    ‘’NCAT has contributed substantially to the development of appropriate and sustainable technologies and to helping improve the lives of low-income families since 1976.’’

    Note that NCAT receives funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

    The NCAT agency should be for ALL CITIZENS, not only for low-income .Federal funding does not allow discrimination to select only certain people.

    THE NCAT MISSION

    Helping People by championing small-scale, local, and sustainable solutions to reduce poverty, promote healthy communities, and protect natural resources.

    Not sure how they reduce poverty as they do not actually perform in developing properties.

    The report leans to environmental issues, public transportation and sprawl in relation to inner city problems.

    Unless you experience the inner city issues of low income people, the problems are increased due to unemployment and the lack in education of the youth in the community.

    President Obama being a neighborhood organizer on the east side of Chicago has the experience to understand inner city families.

  • poppi profile image

    poppi 4 years ago

    Hello everyone

    I did not get to read all of the replies, because Laura scared the kergebees out on me.

    Lets narrow this to ONE big conclusion. We all agree that the OIL COMPANIES are a whole lot of money on us.

    Then my suggestion is one and the only answer.

    PUSH THE GOVERNMENT TO PUT A CAP ON GAS PRICES ACROSS THE BOARD.

    This government has their hands on everything.

    I got the message when someone said "We Need a Change".

  • JON EWALL profile image

    JON EWALL 4 years ago from usa

    poppi

    ''PUSH THE GOVERNMENT TO PUT A CAP ON GAS PRICES ACROSS THE BOARD''.

    A past president, Reagan, once said '' government is not the solution, government is the problem'', that's so true today.

    HOW OIL SPECULATORS DRIVE OIL PRICES UP, AND WHY

    At a June 17 Congressional hearing about how oil prices are affected

    http://www.solarfeeds.com/how-oil-speculators-driv...

    3/12/12

    How many of these did YOU know...? 8 secrets about gas prices every American should know: http://fxn.ws/xkrjy8

    Obama feeling the heat from oil producers

    The TRUTH

    http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/your-world-cavuto/in.../v/1523106926001/obama-feeling-the-heat-from-oil-producers/?playlist_id=86929

    You be the judge

  • poppi profile image

    poppi 4 years ago

    Hi Jon

    Fortuactly I have to agree with you.

    The reason I say this that if the President isn't reconizning the problem at the pump.

    We as Americans should be on Congress to try to push something so Obama would do something for lower prices.

    On the other hand like you say President Reagan would have did something, just like he did with the traffic controlers.

    President Reagan would have stressed to the nation and Congress about solar power and wind power.

    He would have sterred this nation away from the fossial fuel, to any newer power.

    I do believe Mr Reagan and Mr Clinton were the two best President's back to back.Yes, Mr Clinton had his needed perks, Think about what he really accomplished and continued with the Reagan plan.

    It took 16 years of two Presidents to accomplish what they did, the lowest unemployment rate in our country, and they were able to balance and have a surplus.

    We as a nation are stronger than most countries may think.

    I for one citizen in Arizona. I Transformed my home to a Solar Home, I also put in a Hybrid hot water heater w/ instant heat. I also put solar on my pool.

    Now I am looking for an electric auto that works.

    What we need is a change(sound Familiar)but the pickens are to far apart for this nation to wait.

    Health care should take a back seat, for cutting the unemployment rate should be #1 issue along with the money we owe.

  • JON EWALL profile image

    JON EWALL 4 years ago from usa

    poppi

    HOW MANY YEARS WILL IT TAKE to give you a payback?

  • AdT70 profile image

    AdT70 4 years ago

    Hey all, I am new to HubPages but wanted to jump in here: I don't think the author was stating opposition to a free markets solution, just pointing out the pub health benefits of switching to alternate modes of and energy for transportation. yes, there needs to be something very different to address the needs of less-densely-populated parts of the country, but think of the public health benefits if the general metro areas of our country switched to alternate transportation modes/energy.

  • poppi profile image

    poppi 4 years ago

    If you are referring to when will I see myself receiving a check from the Electric Co.so far my system was installed in June 2011.

    My electric bill went down from $175.00 per month to $105.00 in September 2011.

    October starts my cycle for next year and I was told by the Electric Co. I should see a max reduction of about 60-70% reduction.

    I even cut my home gas bill from $65.00 per month to $14.00 to $16.00. One must eat and BarBqueing is a must.

    I live in Arizona.

    So when October rolls around I will let you know on my results.

    It's a pleasure writing to you.

    "God's Speed"

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 4 years ago

    Judging the cost of electric vehicles at this time is difficult because the price of natural gas is amazingly low. It is not going to stay there. If you want to get a comparison, compare your electric bill from three years ago to today, assuming your electrical power is from gas-powered turbines. The price of gas has come down because we do not import gas and our domestic supply has increased tremendously because of the shale plays, so much that we are exporting liquified natural gas to other countries. Shale plays do not last forever. Cheap fuel increases the demand and the result is that the price will go up. So do not bet the house that the prices you are paying today will be in place a year or two from now.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

    AdT70: Thanks for your comments. You nailed my point on the head - my goal was definitely to focus on the potential public health impact of higher gas prices. Of course, as many of the comments suggest, there are overarching political and economic issues that play heavily into this issue. But, I'm glad that you read my article that way.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

    Poppi: Thanks for sharing your experience with going electric. Keep us posted!

  • poppi profile image

    poppi 4 years ago

    Hi Larry

    Electric is expensive for the home, when I compared the price of Electric to Gas for the home. The electric bill was 4 times higher than gas. If you look at what Toyota has gone with one of there auto's ( Prius ) this vehicle

    can come with solar panel on the roof of the auto.

    Expensive right now but not with by demand, this is because of the cost of material and workmanship that is envolved. As this process becomes developed and a more popular this cost will lower and stabilize as more companies developed similar auto's.

    I believe the problem is the development of the battery

    holding a continuous supply of power as a constant cycle.

    Large cities across the country have crossed over to gas powered Mass Transit (Buses) if more cities developed this trend we can start with cleaner air.

  • JON EWALL profile image

    JON EWALL 4 years ago from usa

    poppi

    The solar panel system costs $....... the savings mode sounds very good. The question was how long the savings need to go to recoup the costs and maintenance of the system? In Arizona there are dust storms, how does the panels work after they are dirty? Is there a requirement to clean the panels ??

  • poppi profile image

    poppi 4 years ago

    Hi Jon

    I figured out with my yearly cost of just about $2,500.00 I should be in the plus in less than 3 years. The out of pocket was $6,000.00 that's after Utilities Rebate $6,500.00,

    State $1,000.00, and Federal $7,000.00. I was able to lock in with the Utility Co. at $6.25 a KW. this is the cost the that the utility will buy back rate.

    Joke:

    ( As for cleaning the panel's it's not a problem we get an illegal immigrant put him on the roof 10 minutes their clean)

    All kidding aside they stay pretty clean they are facing south and are on an angle.

  • JON EWALL profile image

    JON EWALL 4 years ago from usa

    poppi

    Am I correct to say that the complete system cost to the contractor was $20,500.

    Your yearly cost prior to the installation was $............ THE SQUARE FOOT of your house is...........

    1 story or 2 story. flat roof or pitched roof

    sherrriff joe will get you, so be careful,

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 4 years ago

    If everyone used solar panels, there would be periods where we would need alternate sources of electricity. We can install generators that run on natural gas, but that can get expensive, or we can expect the utility company to maintain its system, so we we can use it when we needed it, thus they will have to raise the cost per kilowatt to maintain and operate the system. I do not think you have found the ultimate solution. You have found your solution but not the final solution.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

    This conversation has taken an interesting turn.

    Jon, I'm curious about something you said: "The NCAT agency should be for ALL CITIZENS, not only for low-income .Federal funding does not allow discrimination to select only certain people." Can you explain what you mean by this?

  • Felina Margetty profile image

    Felina Margetty 4 years ago from New York, New York

    Laura GT,

    Thanks for an interesting hub, I agree with you completely although thousands wound not. The point you make about our attitude and perception is a valid one and rings true for me. Of course we can empower ourselves by choosing to walk or find alternative means in stead of being at the mercy of the powerful corporate masters. Finding innovations is also affected as you say, voted up Cheers F.

  • JON EWALL profile image

    JON EWALL 4 years ago from usa

    LauraGT

    I sent you a reply to your question, did you not accept the answer? hope to hear....

  • JON EWALL profile image

    JON EWALL 4 years ago from usa

    LauraGT

    For your viewing pleasure.

    Who owns big oil? Obama and the Democrats want to tax them. Are you a OWNER?

    http://whoownsbigoil.org/

    4/27/12

    Team Obama's scary crusade against affordable, reliable ENERGY

    The worst part of Obama’s crusade against affordable, reliable energy is that it’s an undeclared war

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/04/27/epa-vide...

    3/26/12

    House Democrats push probe into oil market speculators

    http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/your-world-cavuto/in.../v/1594657302001/house-democrats-push-probe-into-oil-market-speculators/?playlist_id=86929

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

    Felina, Thanks for reading and commenting. I agree that many people could make different decisions about how to get around that would help reduce their own reliance on gas.

    Yesterday, our entire family ditched the car and biked everywhere (a total of 10 miles). It was so great getting the exercise and felt very free, compared to seeing people stuck in traffic/looking for parking spaces, etc. It would be much nicer if there were bike lanes and more people biking, but hopefully that's down the road as more cities adopt healthier community policies.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

    Hi Jon,

    I did not see a reply to the question. Thanks,

    Laura

  • JON EWALL profile image

    JON EWALL 4 years ago from usa

    LauraGT

    ''Federal funding does not allow discrimination to select only certain people." Can you explain what you mean by this?''

    YES IT DOES when the article and the organization continually refer to LOW INCOME,they by references discriminate against others on an income basis.

  • poppi profile image

    poppi 4 years ago

    Hi Jon

    Getting a little testy there buddy, its the time of the year.

    No results getting done, everyone looking about themselves.

    It's the state the country is in,just hope someone wakes up soon.

  • JON EWALL profile image

    JON EWALL 4 years ago from usa

    poppi

    Wake me up! How am I being testy?

  • poppi profile image

    poppi 4 years ago

    Jon

    It's a figure of speech, because at this current rate we will all be considered a lower and we would wipe out discrimination all together,

    The wake up call is November 6,2012 sound the Horns.

    Besides by the Miran calender it's only 46 days to the end. So will it really matter.

  • JON EWALL profile image

    JON EWALL 4 years ago from usa

    poppi

    ''The wake up call is November 6,2012 sound the Horns.''

    HOW TRUE!

  • poppi profile image

    poppi 4 years ago

    We Hope

  • Horatio Plot profile image

    Horatio Plot 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, England.

    Phew! I'm running out of energy just reading all the comments here.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

    Horatio Plot: Thanks for slogging through the comments. What do you think??

  • Doc Snow profile image

    Doc Snow 4 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

    Laura,

    Thanks for saying something important. I think that you are right on the money--so to speak!

    As long as we have unrealistically *low* gas prices, we will be strongly tempted just to muddle along with a status quo which is not sustainable. And as long as our whole energy economy is predicated on the ability to use the common atmosphere as a dump for combustion byproducts, our gas (and coal, and oil) prices *will* be unrealistically low, in one respect at least.

    (BTW, it boggles my mind that some think you are against market-based solutions when your whole point is to remind us that market forces, working via the high gas prices we have been experiencing, will help to create the alternatives we so desperately need.)

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

    Doc Snow: The perspective on market-based solutions is interesting. I guess, like lots of things, people only like market-based solutions that the perceive are going their way!

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 4 years ago

    Market based solutions are controlled by factors that we as a nation cannot yet control. In this time of economic uncertainty, people want the cheapest fuel possible now and are reluctant about future fuels because of the confusion over what is the best alternative.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

    Larry: I understand that people want the cheapest fuel possible, but I also think that there needs to be some pressure put on for the research and development of more affordable alternatives so that we are less reliant on gasoline.

  • profile image

    Sara 4 years ago

    Those are good points,if you are a stay at home mom or something. For those of us that have to work, high gas prices don't seem so good.

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 4 years ago

    Gasoline prices are coming down. In my city, Baton Rouge, LA. I have seen prices ranging from $3.49 a gallon to $3.55 a gallon which is a lot less than the $3.79 per gallon I was paying a few weeks ago. Gasoline prices are still high. They may drop below $3, but I have serious doubts about that. I home I am wrong.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

    Sara, I'm not sure what staying at home has to do with it. This idea about higher gas prices being beneficial came to me first when I was a graduate student (going to school full-time and working 20+ hours/week) who couldn't even afford a car. Yes, it is a hardship for most to pay higher gas prices, but until people shift their way of thinking about how we get around, change will be an uphill battle. We need to think about how we zone and plan our cities so we can change people's reliance on their automobiles.

  • JON EWALL profile image

    JON EWALL 4 years ago from usa

    LauraGT

    '' to think about how we zone and plan our cities so we can change people's reliance on their automobiles.''

    MOVE TO THE OLD EUROPIAN CITIES.

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 4 years ago

    LauraGT

    You should start a new Hub about alternatives from your perspective. This one is getting so long, that I am losing track of who’s on first.

    I will say I am not opposed to alternative fuels or methods of transportation.

    I do not think the oil and gas industry should be the industry forced to finance the alternative fuel business, unless an individual company or companies chose to do so.

    Bike paths are great for exercise, for students and a few others. People who have to wear suits and ties, carry brief cases, pick up people for lunch, etc. cannot use bikes.

    Electric trains, i.e. subways, monorails, etc. are all good ideas. We just have to find the money, get the rights-of-ways and then work on the termination points to insure there is adequate shuttle, cab or other means of transportation to get people where they need to go.

    We have to recognize that some of this is not going to work in smaller communities, or communities that grew without a master plan and are a bunch of subdivisions tied together with a few main roads, an interstate, etc.

    I would oppose any effort to turn drainage systems into bike paths. I spent too many years covering city councils to know only begin to guess the problems that would create.

    Finally, none of these things are going to happen in the next four years regardless of who is President. John Kennedy issued a challenge to get man to the moon by the end of the decade. We did it and discovered a lot of new technology.

    I think we are looking at a 20 to 40 year plan to get to the point I think you and others are envisioning. I do not mean to be a naysayer or put a damper on things, but I have been dealing with the movement of government for almost 40 years and there are still areas in my city where the housing is substandard, some of the roads are not paved and the power goes out with a good breeze. Our existing infrastructure needs a lot of work.

    Finally, the economy has to be healed, so that jobs can be created, so businesses can grow, and tax dollars can be generated to accomplish all of these things.

    Oil and gas companies, despite the beliefs of some, cannot arbitrarily raise prices so people would seek alternative means of transportation. If they did, there profits would be higher and people would still be mad at them and they would be in violation of price gouging laws that exist throughout the country.

    Your goal is admirable. It is doable. It is going to take time.

    As I said, you may want to do a new hub. This is so long the changes are very slim that many readers will get down this fair to read what I have presented.

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    Carlos 4 years ago

    I think that until we can really decrease our foreign dependence on oil, there is only one logical solution. That is to use our might and steal it. We should take complete control of the middle east. Not only would this supply with all the oil we need, it would supply us with a massive cash flow from foreign sales.

  • profile image

    Big Jake 4 years ago

    What if humankind's CO2 emissions are keeping the planet from plummeting into an ice age?

    There is scientific evidence that the air traffic free skies following 9-11-2001 (with no contrails) caused global temperatures to spike lower during the "No Fly Period".

    It's quite possible that human activity has a mitigating influence on global temperature fluctuations.  A hypothesis worth investigation.

     

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 4 years ago

    Carlos:

    I hope you are joking. The last thing this country needs is to start a war in the Mid East.

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

    Jon: care to expand on what point you are trying to make?

    Zoning and changing planning in cities is actually already happening, in response to the obesity epidemic. More and more cities are including public health and education professionals in their planning processes to make sure that there are bike lanes on new roads, that highways and other major thoroughfares are not getting in the way of pedestrian walkways, especially on the way to school, and that planning takes into account ways that cities can be made safer and healthier. The potential benefits for people's health, the health of the environment, and for stronger communities are boundless.

  • LauraGT profile image
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    LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

    Larry, thank you once again for providing insightful, informative, and, most of all, respectful comments.

    You are absolutely right that this type of change will take decades. Important change usually isn't quick or easy, unfortunately.

    I also want to challenge you again about the range of folks who can bike to work. Absolutely there are some who can not, for a variety of reasons (proximity to the workplace, health limitations, etc.). But, more and more workplaces have showers, there are satchels that can be used to transport a change of clothes and computers, etc. This too is a culture shift that has happened some places. I know business people who have to look nice at work and have stuff to carry, but they still get on their bikes most mornings that the weather cooperates to get the exercise, save money and time, and help the environment. I also recently heard a story about a CEO who only has walking meetings. He explained that it helps people get exercise and he believed that it also sparked more idea generation than sitting around a table!

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

    This isn't the story I remember hearing about the walking meeting CEO, but it's a nice one!

    http://www.victoriawalks.org.au/Assets/Files/Walki...

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 4 years ago

    LauraGT

    We are not going to agree on the bike issue, probably because of our different locations. Despite the reasons I have mentioned before, there is the issue of car pooling, after school activities, and the fact that in the summer in South Louisiana, the heat index is close to 100. In some communities, depending on the demographics and location of facilities, bike paths work. We do have bike paths by the University and other places, but those are more for exercise and recreational purposes, than for getting to work. I just ran an errand to the local convenience store for my wife. It is about a 2.5 mile round trip, but with my creaking knees it would had done me in. I use to love ride bikes. Now, I like my air conditioned car, with CD player, playing Judy Collins music.

  • Jimmy771 profile image

    Jimmy771 4 years ago

    We are destroying the environment, killing off species by the dozens, and eventually we will make the planet uninhabitable even for humans. The evidence is irrefutable and faces us at every turn, yet we choose to ignore it. Why? Is it because we don't believe it? Or is it because we feel that as individuals we cannot make a difference?

    How can we not believe our environment is in jeopardy? Consider:

    - global warming

    - the ozone hole

    - cities that have to issue smog alerts because the air is literally poisonous

    - beaches closed to swimmers for years at a time because the water is too polluted

    - the wholesale clearing of rain forests

    - the continuing extinction of endangered species

    - wide tracts of land placed under permanent quarantine because of spills of dioxin (Italy), nuclear waste (Russia)

    - oil spills like the Exxon Valdez

    ... what do you not understand Larry?

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 4 years ago

    I do not see how my disagreement with Laura regarding bicycle paths has anything to do with the topics you listed.

    But to give you my views:

    1. I think global warming is occurring, but mainly because of natural cycles in the climate. Ice samples recovered form the North Pole has shown (I cannot explain the science) that the actual temperature has varied over the years.

    2. The ozone hole. I did not invent feron. My new air conditioner does not use CFCs, not does my car.

    3. Smog alerts occurred partly because of heat inversions, a major problem in California. The industry I use the represent, oil and gas (refineries) have made significant reductions in their emissions.

    4. Closed beaches--you convince cities, and individuals who own private camps to quit discharging raw sewerage into the water. You convince fishermen from doing the same thing. I have written editorials about this in newspapers that I have worked for--I use to live within miles of the Atchafalaya Basin, one of the last hardwood swamps in the country. I wrote more about preserving it than you can ever begin to guess.

    5. Wholesale clearing of rain forests--I am opposed to it. I have not purchased, any lumber from those trees that were cut and I will not. I oppose the idea.

    6. The continuing extinctin of endangered species. Some species are going to become extint. That is part of nature. We do not have dinosaurs roaming the earth. We do not have dodo birds because people in the 1700s killed them off for food. We will lose some species. I live in Baton Rouge, where LSU keeps a live Tiger mascot in a very nice habitat. I am opposed to that and have told university officials that I oppose it,.

    7, I have no control over the spills in Italy--accidents happen or the Russian nuclear problems. Do you have an answer. Please let me know how you would have prevented and handle those issues.

    8. Oil spills like the Exxon Valdez. It was an unfortunate event. I know the person who was sent up there to supervised the clean up. He did a good job. A bunch of people tried to make money out of it. The captain made a costly mistake. You did not mention the BP incident. That was the result of mechanical and human error. Mistakes are going to happen.

    What do I not understand. I do not understand this foolishness of yours. I am for preserving the environment. We recycle. We do not waste. I have written about how there is hardly any waste in the refining of oil. I have written about research for recapturing water used in fracking so it can be used repeatedly. I worked for the man who wrote the primary environmental law in the state of LA and was the model used by many states when the environment because an issue.

    I do not understand what you think you were accomplishing with your comments. Are you trying to impress someone. Write your best article. I will respond. I am no amateur. You think I am angry about what you wrote. Yes I am. It was uncalled totally uncalled for.

    Laura and others like bike paths. Let me tell you about my family. I am almost 61 with arthritic knees. My wife is 61 with arthritis in her back. My son was nearly killed in an auto accident. He is beyond legally blind. None of us should be riding bicycles. I do not have a job. I do go to the grocery store with my wife. We use the plastic bags---they take less energy to make than the paper bags. We buy betwewen 10 to 12 bags of groceries each week. We cannot carry that on a bicycle.

    There are two young nursing students who live next door to me. They go to class everyday--about a five mile trip and they have to be in uniform when they get there. There are no showers there for them to use or time to dry their hair.

    When my son was an infant, I had a bicycle seat for him. I rode him around the neighborhood several times each week. He is 28, a little old for that practice.

    You have a constitutional right to speak your mind. My newspaper won an award for helping to protect that right. However, with that right comes a certain amount of responsibility, which you have not shown.

    When you come up with some real arguments, let me know. I will be glad to discuss or debate. It is entirely up to you.

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    Spencer 4 years ago

    The one concept that all students, even those sleeping in the back of the lecture hall, learn from an introductory economics class is that prices matter. And more particularly, students learn that as prices increase, the quantity consumed goes down. So if fossil fuel combustion produces byproducts that cause negative health effects on third parties as well as changes in the temperature of the atmosphere, the obvious lesson from economics is to increase fossil fuel prices enough through taxation to account for these effects. Then firms and consumers will react to these prices in thousands of different ways, the net result of which is less aggregate fossil fuel combustion.

    If fuel combustion hurts third parties and the planet, increase fossil fuel prices enough through taxation to account for these effects.

    For example, if gas prices go up and a commuter decides to start driving a Prius, or to move closer to work so the old gas guzzler travels fewer miles, this will have equivalent beneficial effects on aggregate fossil fuel consumption. One does not have to purchase an energy efficient vehicle to reduce fossil fuel consumption.

    And Larry, calm down, deep breaths.

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 4 years ago

    Spencer: (Good name--my father and older brother were name Spencer (brother was Spence).

    It is not that simple. People will pay higher prices. The higher prices may cause less consumer use of gasoline, but it is going to increase the cost of everything that is transported by rail, boat, car, truck or airplane. So the consumer is going to get hit twice--higher gas prices and higher prices for food, building materials, clothes, etc. How is he going to save enough money to buy the Prius you are talking about, which I believe uses some gasoline?

    There is no easy or overnight solution. You have thousands upon thousands of people working in the petroleum industry. You cut petroleum use in half and you will put a lot of those people out of work. They are not going to be able to find jobs--at least not in this economy. The taxes and royalties the government gets from oil and natural gas production. Those revenues will only be offset partially by the increased gasoline taxes. The cost of other petroleum based products, makeup for women, parachutes, artificial heart valves, basketballs, furniture polish, shoe polish, crayons...are all going to increase because the biggest cash crop, gasoline, is going to be producing less money.

    You want an alternative fuel.

    Here are the steps.

    1. Decide which alternative is going to be used for transportation purposes.

    2. See if automakers can make vehicles that run on that fuel.

    3. Determine what type of infrastructure will be used to transport that fuel.

    4. Determine how that fuel is going to be tax, to offset the taxes lost from gasoline sales.

    5. Phase in this alternative over years. The old saying about Rome not being built in a day, applies here. We are not going to change our fuel options in a day, week, month, year, decades or multiple decades. It is going to take time.

    6. Decide how the oil and gas is going to be compensated and what is going to do with the 50 percent of each barrel of oil, which my current physics has to become gasoline. You can probably reduce that to 35 percent, but you still have to produce some gasoline. Will there be a use for it.

    7. Will planes continue to use aviation fuel or something else?

    8. You can run trans-Atlantic cruise ships on electricity, so what are they going to do.

    This is not an easy issue to resolve.

    Finally, regarding my deep breaths, I do get angry when people assume something about me without bothering to ask or research. I have written more hubs about oil and gas than I wanted to, only because I want to see correct information in the public. That industry fired me. I owe them nothing. I was a reporter for 15 years with a reputation for reporting the facts fairly and completely. I value that reputation and will defend it.

    As far as my misspellings in the prior answer, I type too fast and did not proofread closely enough. I apologize for that. Everything I said was accurate to the best of my ability.

    I appreciate your suggestions, but I honestly you are not looking at the whole picture and the tremendously adverse economic impact it could have on the nation. If you do not like the economy now, you will really hate it, if gas prices jump up $1. I have two years left on a lease vehicle. My other car is six years old and paid for. I am unemployed. You raise the price of gasoline. There is no mass transit. I cannot ride a bike for a long distance. What are your suggestions?

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    Marsha 4 years ago

    Everyone has made some really good points. One thing that got my attention was Larry's mention of loss of government revenue due to minimizing oil consumption and the economy. I have the solution, marijuana. Do you realize how much money would be made through its legalization? Think about it. If Marlboro marketed a five pack of marijuana cigarettes for ten dollars, we would buy then up. That cost would take into account the dollar it would cost Marlboro to produce, a dollar of profit, and 8 dollars of government taxes. Much cheaper than we are paying now. Everyone would be grateful to buy at that price. The displaced oil workers could also get jobs in the new marijuana boom.

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 4 years ago

    I do not know if you are joking or not, because I have heard that solution before presented as a serious alternative. The big problem will be paying the insurance bills because of the impaired drivers on the road.

    Back when I was in college in the 70s there was a big push to legalize marijuana then. A professor at a Mississippi university (do not remember which one) was growing marijuana for "research" purposes, tying to develop a unique American variety. He copyrighted about two dozen names to use in marketing, thinking marijuana would be legal in the next year or two. I think that was in 1973. A copyright is good for a maximum of 52 years. So he has 13 years left, if he is still living. If he registered them as trademarks, then he has a hold on them forever, provided he pays the annual fees. I had this discussion before and you would be amaze at the number of problems I can create for it. The biggest one being that the government would water-down what was being sold legally, thus people wanting the real stuff would still be going to the streets.

  • profile image

    Mark 4 years ago

    Marijuana's legalization would simplify the development of hemp as a valuable and diverse agricultural crop in the United States, including its development as a new bio-fuel to reduce carbon emissions. Canada and European countries have managed to support legal hemp cultivation without legalizing marijuana, but in the United States opposition to legal marijuana remains the biggest obstacle to development of industrial hemp as a valuable agricultural commodity. As US energy policy continues to embrace and promote the development of bio-fuels as an alternative to oil dependency and a way to reduce carbon emissions, it is all the more important to develop industrial hemp as a bio-fuel source - especially since use of hemp stalks as a fuel source will not increase demand and prices for food, such as corn. Legalization of marijuana will greatly simplify the regulatory burden on prospective hemp cultivation in the United States.

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 4 years ago

    Mark:

    You present an interesting concept. Quite honestly, I know little about hemp production as a bio fuel. I agree, if it is usable, it would take the pressure off of using corn and othr food products to make fuel. If there is something that can be added to the hemp during its growing process that would reduce or eliminate the hallucinogenic affects, then it might be a doable products in the U.S.

    I do not know the ultimate BTU value of hemp, which in the end is the final question. If it does not match that of ethanol, then it is not going to go over. If it ends up having the same adverse impact of attracting water, then it is not going to move.

    The problem with ethanol, because it use of the corn crop, is that it attracts water, which causes corrosion if it is transported through traditional pipelines. If hemp can overcome the problem, you may be on to something. But again, I do not know enough to offer an endorsement or rejection viewpoint.

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    Philip 4 years ago

    Scientific fact: There are NO known long term side effects from weed. Sorry folks, nobody's ever found any. Not even that it kills brain cells. In fact there's no evidence weed is more harmful than alcohol or cigarettes.

    That being said, just because they don't know the side effects doesn't mean there aren't any. While I support the legalization of weed, I cannot support a 7th grader smoking it.

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 4 years ago

    I have no arguments with you, but I do not want people driving while smoking a joint. I do not want my doctor grabbing a joint before he cuts on me and so on. You stated that weed is no more harmful than alcohol or cigarettes. That is not the best argument I have heard considering the number of alcoholics there are, the number of people with lung cancer from smoking something and so on and so.

    On top of that, I just think it is unhealthy to purposely inhale the smoke of anything that is burning, be it pot, tobbacco or corn silks.

  • Cathleena Beams profile image

    Cathleena Beams 4 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee

    Your points are valid though they aren't necessarily good for everyone. I live too far away to bike or walk to work, though I would love to be able to do that and would if I lived close enough. Those who do wouldn't use much gas though, even if they did decide to drive, so the price probably isn't much of a determining factor, and health benefits is more likely the true motive behind one's decision to leave the car at home and hoof it on foot or to reach for the bike instead.

    The higher gas price does influence those who must drive to work. My husband and I recently purchased more economical vehicles to get us around. He bought that Yamaha Motorcycle he has had his eye on for several months, and I just purchased a very cool and sporty 2007 Yellow Pontiac G5 GT. So I guess we are boosting the economy by keeping the auto industry well funded.

    Maybe this effect to purchase more economical transportation will help GM, Ford and Chrysler pay back part of the stimulus money that was so called "loaned" by our government. Since we are not going to get it all back and they will pay back less than was borrowed, I have reservations about calling this a loan. It smells more like a grant to me.

    I enjoyed reading this hub and all the comments immensely. You are brilliant to think of this topic and as it is such a controversial one I'm sure it will continue to grow more responses. Awesome, useful, interesting, and shared!

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 4 years ago

    In the oil and gas industry, trends change quickly--very quickly. A few weeks ago everyone was bemoaning the price of gasoline and predicting it would break the $4 mark. Today in my hometown, Baton Rouge, LA, the average low price is $3.19 cents with a couple of places selling it for $2.99. As the price of gasoline goes down, people will become more complacent and good ideas like alternative fuels, bike paths when practical and mass transportation improvements will probably go by the wayside for awhile. Unfortunately, that is how we as a nation have always reacted to energy prices. Otherwise, when we have the price spikes in the 1970s, a lot of the things we are talking about today would already be in place.

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 4 years ago

    You do realize that driving under the influence, does not apply only to alcohol. If marijuana is ever realized, states are going to pass laws that either prohibit smoking marijuana while driving, or establish a test to determine if you have inhaled once too often.

    People who sell marijuana would probably be glad to see it legalized because the government regulation of it is going send people back to the dealers who are going to be charging more and in turn creating a whole new problem for law enforcement.

    Also, at least in Louisiana, if something is grown and sold, it has to be inspected by the Department of Agriculture. The bureaucracy that would develop around legalize marijuana would be tremendous--might even create some jobs.

  • profile image

    Bob 4 years ago

    I'm hoping there would be a legal limit, like alcohol. If you're legally ok to drive after a beer or two, why not a toke or two? Everything in moderation, just like cheeseburgers.

    I don't understand why the dealers would be happy. If I can buy it at the corner gas station, how do they benefit?

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

    Cathleena Beems: Thanks for reading and for the compliment! You do make an interesting point that those who can bike/walk to work live closer to work so the gas savings aren't so great. On an individual level, that's true, but if you look at the millions of people who could make that change (and include not just community to/from work, but reducing short car trips to other places as well), there could be a tremendous impact.

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 4 years ago

    Bob:

    The stuff you would get at the corner store is not going to be the same stuff you get from dealers and dealers are not going to card you. THe stuff from the dealers will have the extra kick missing from the "legal" stuff. The dealers will then charge more.

  • profile image

    Pearl 4 years ago

    I've never smoked the reefers myself. I really don't know what to think about the stuff.

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 4 years ago

    I have never smoked marijuana either, people do not believe it, but its true. I did take a course in drug education in college, in 1973 and the professor was expecting legalized pot by 1976. Another professor had already secured copyright protection for several proposed brands. However, they knew that even if legalized, the legal marijuana would be regulated and a black market for better quality, i.e., strong weed would still exist.

  • toomuchmint profile image

    toomuchmint 4 years ago

    Thanks Laura for a great article and insightful discussion! I second (third, fourth, fifth?) the idea that higher gas prices encourage alternatives.

    If gas prices were $2 a gallon, we wouldn't have nearly as many vanpools or transit shuttle buses. We definitely wouldn't be getting a bikeshare!

    High prices encourage the market for alternatives. This works out great for long-time no-car advocates, who finally get a chance to be mainstream.

    Woot woot!

  • LauraGT profile image
    Author

    LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

    Toomuchmint: Thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad the article resonated with you. It's true - price is a major driver (so to speak!) of people's behaviors, and I'm glad to see people making use of alternatives.

  • profile image

    Julie 4 years ago

    The only way America will ever get free of its sick addiction to oil is through higher gas prices. The future is bikes, electric cars, living in cities with great transit options and high speed rail. Gas prices can get us there.

  • poppi profile image

    poppi 4 years ago

    Just received Junes Electric bill, remember for about 5 months my bill went down from $75.00 per month to $105 per month.

    Now June's bill reads $60.00 and in the bar graph they shoe on the bill I am well below maybe even minus on the graph.

    The bill also shows a account Balance -634.00 so far this year.

  • greeneryday profile image

    greeneryday 4 years ago from Some tropical country

    High gas price means we have to think harder to find some cheap alternatives which also happen to be environmental friendly... Not as easy as it says, but we have got to do it one way or another...

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 4 years ago

    Natural gas prices are not high--they are not at the historic lows there were a few weeks ago, due to the excess speculation about the shale plays. Because they are not as high, the cost of electricity is going down. Some electrical utilities only run a month behind in making the necessary changes in changing the fuel adjustment charge. Other lag real far behind, such as the one mentioned by Poppi in his comment above. That negative balance or credit on his bill is the result of lower prices of natural gas which is used to run steam turbines, which make electricity.

    Higher gasoline prices will not solve the problem. As I said earlier, higher gasoline prices increases the cost of everything else, so the money saved by people driving less will go to pay the increased freight and shipping bills that will result from higher fuel costs.

    The answer is to find something better and so far no one has done that. They have found possibilities, but nothing that is better and that can survive without a massive government subsidy, like the solar panel industry, ethanol, etc.

    If truth be known, with oll companies making record profits, they should get some subsidy, that would allow them to develop the alternatives that will replace gasoline. As a group, the oil and gas industry has spent more on alternative fuel research than any other group.

    Get the carmakers involved to come up with a car that perhaps can run on multiple fuels.

    Whatever the choice, I assure you raising gasoline prices, will only anger the consumers, give more money to oil companies, cause us to buy less foreign oil and provide no incentive to develop any real and viable alternative to gasoline.

  • JON EWALL profile image

    JON EWALL 4 years ago from usa

    hubbers

    Oil company profits are good. Good for the US treasury( taxpayers), good for the jobs they provide, good for the people's daily needs and good for the investors.The gas/oil/coal industries get $4 billion in subsidies and the alternate/green industries get $9 billion in subsidies.There is no doubt that the return on INVESTMENT is greater for the oil'gas'coal industries.

    Check out this link.The Truth on big oil earnings. The big government wants ‘’ fairness ‘’

    http://whoownsbigoil.org/a-note-on-oil-company-ear...

  • JON EWALL profile image

    JON EWALL 4 years ago from usa

    hubbers

    A past President once said '' the governmnt is not the solution, the government is the problem''.

    Administration Oil Strategy Contributes to Price Increases 2009-2012

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/87353590/Administration-...

  • poppi profile image

    poppi 4 years ago

    Well, I have to say that this HUB has been running for 20 days today.

    Laura you have created what seems to be the stem of the steam kettle (everyone is blowing off steam) with this hub, more credit to you, you deserve it.

    I know what my Dad would say if reading all the comments on this HUB because I grew up hearing it as he passed on.

    Dad was a WWII Veteran, a Medic to be Persis.

    A generation that built this country under a number of strains at that time the Country went through.

    He was a working man with a 4th grade education. Working in the rail yards for B&O, L.L.I.R.R, and then The Jersey Central Railroad.

    He was one of millions who did not ever ask or look for a hand out, in his words "I don't believe in that" .

    What he and millions of that generations believe I will make something out of myself. I do not need any Government telling me what and should I do, I have a wife that does that now.

    He was a strong minded individual in a number of ways, ( believe me he was strong, in many other ways also) .

    He never like Politicians he called them all crooks when I was growing up, as a kid you really don't get the real meaning until you look back at what he was teaching .

    In today's wording it would mean the meaning of life. The Pros and Cons of life's dealings.

    Today when I think back and listen to his words in my head this was not just a man with a 4th grade education he was a time machine. Telling me what to look for in the future because he and every one in that generation went through something in their lives that gave them the intuitiveness to pass it on.

    I know Jon, Larry and Laura I am getting to the point to this,

    be patient.

    What has been transpiring in the last 3 months is a view of a President that is on a train that he believes everyone else is on with him. But in reality he is on this train with people who are looking at a color and not the reality of what the country is going through as a nation.

    I sometimes wonder if the issues in front of us will ever be resolved. There is always a back seat approach to the going ons of this country. Simply put,

    Gas prices no one knows why prices rose in the last 3 months? My Answer is, fisicial year ending in June, increase profits in the last quarter for oil and refinery company's.

    Immigration....The President did nothing and gave no clue why he did what he did for an explanation of his actions.

    Stupidity goes a long way in this country and it starts at the top of this government down to the Senate and to Congress to Governors, Mayors, and all officials in this government as we know it today.

    Answer is really simple Election year, President does nothing on immigration and locks in Latino votes, The minarity have become the majority in this country. The whites are not the concern of the country because there are fewer. You please the Majority to please the country . At this time the majority want more government involvement than ever becauce this generation thinks this is what the government is surpose to do.

    I find this amazing, all I have to say is that is the Myian's are correct that gives us 178 days left. To be honest with a world out of control, countries collapsing from financial dismay, weather destroying crops across each country making a food supply less for the starving.

    Then time would be the only answer to the question WHY.

    We did this to ourselves, we may see the cleanizing of the Earth as we discovered with the Dinornsars.

    178 may become our real freedom. Before you speak, think first at least 10 minutes of what is said here.

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    Larry Wall 4 years ago

    I do not disagree with you except on one point. Gas prices are going down. They hit $2.99 at a station in Lafayette, LA yesterday. Probably up over $3 today, but the prices are nowhere near where they were.

    I do not buy into the Man calendar, but I agree with you about the politics of our country. Partisan division, an ineffective congress and more problems than we have money to solve are going to be haunting us for a long time.

    I have been unemployed for 18 months. I am almost 61. My chances of finding a job a slim, but I try. Majority rule has always been the path of this country--even when the whites were in the majority--sometimes we get a taste of own medicine and the injustice of our ancestors--slavery, opposing civil rights, separate but equal and all of that. But, check your old high school history books, we went from corruption, to a depression to a global war and survived. We have survived natural disasters. It may not be easy, but I think we will survive. I have concerns about Social Security and Medicare--part of my retirement plan. Health care is a major issue. Funding Social Security, eliminating and staying out of wars we can never win have to be among out highest priorities. New York came back after 9-11. New Orleans came back after Katrina. Don't give up hope. We will solve the problems of today and we can then start working on the new problems that will replace them. That is how our country has survived for more than 200 years.

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    poppi 4 years ago

    Hello Jon

    Received my latest Electric bill for July 2012 total cost this month $31.42 , Priceless

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    Kenneth Avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

    Hi, Laura GT,

    Nice read here. Great writing. Love your style. Voted up and away because you deserve it. Loved your subject. Keep up the great writing.

    I cordially invite you to check two of my hubs and then become one of my followers. I would love that.

    Sincerely,

    Kenneth/ from northwest Alabaama

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