Gas Prices: America's Roller Coaster

With the changing of seasons each year, Georgia commuters see a roller coaster rise and fall of gas prices. We have waved goodbye to winter gas prices that seemed like a bargain when they were $3 a gallon, and are approaching the peak gas price season of the year: the summer, which brings a higher demand for gasoline where families take advantage of the warm weather and school breaks to get on the road.

Gas prices outside of Georgia

Even though we are currently seeing prices as high as $4.09 per gallon in some areas of the state, Georgia gas prices are significantly lower than other parts of the country and well below most developed countries around the world. While gasoline costs roughly the same to make no matter where in the world it is produced, the difference in retail costs is due to the fact that some governments subsidize gas while others tax it heavily.

Less demand, higher prices

Overall, the United States has seen some behavior changes over the past couple of years regarding Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT). Since 2007, the average VMT in the southeast has generally been declining. While it seems the demand for gasoline has slowly and steadily been dropping, the retail prices continue to rise. Georgians are currently paying $0.10 more per gallon than where we were at this same time last year. Do you think this is ominous of what is to come?

What can you do about rising gas prices?

The most immediate thing anyone can do to get relief from volatile gas prices is simply driving less. More than 400,000 commuters in the Atlanta region alone are using alternative commute methods such as carpooling or vanpooling in order to share the costs of gas, or riding transit, walking, or bicycling to work, or even teleworking to avoid the commute altogether. When will rising gas prices motivate you to get off the roller coaster and try something different on your daily commute?

Learn more about commute alternatives and ways for you to save money this summer at www.CleanAirCampaign.org.