Pain at the Pump
Mel Rising Dawn Cordeiro
Students have many things on their minds at this point in the semester: exams, final projects, work, family and more. At a time where students should be making their final academic push to complete their studies for the semester, the last thing any student needs is to worry about how gas prices will affect the end of the semester. This is especially important for commuter students and out-of-state students who may be planning to return home for break.
At the time of this writing, the average gas prices in Rhode Island are $4.11 for regular unleaded, $4.50 for mid grade, $4.77 for octane, and $5.10 for diesel. This is fairly consistent with the national average. The recent drop in gas prices is due to the fact that the Biden Administration is releasing one million barrels of oil daily from the national reserve. This will occur over a six month time period. When all is said and done, there will be 180 million barrels released from the reserve.
While borrowing from our oil reserves will help to drive down gas prices, there are still many other factors that will contribute to the higher prices. Contrary to what appears to be popular belief, the president nor any governmental agency actually “set” the prices of gas. Gas is a supply and demand chain, meaning that the market value and the purchase cost are truly what determines the price we pay at the pump. There are other factors as well that play into the price, the most prominent factor at this time being the war in Ukraine.
The growth in gas prices has also seen many employees return to remote work. While this economic shift is also a shift likely to affect our wallets the hardest, it would be in Rhode Island College’s best interest to offer some incentive, especially to the commenter students. Students receive emails daily from the bookstore, a majority of which involve contests with bookstore gift cards as prizes. Perhaps if those gift cards were gas cards instead, more students would feel a small sense of relief knowing that they can get to work or school that week.
There are many aps available on both IPhone and Android devices that will show maps of gas prices, all of which are reported constantly by users. Many gas stations have rewards programs for their customers as well, and offer a certain amount of money off per gallon of gas purchased. There are a few apps, such as GetUpside and GasBuddy, that offer cash back through the app for the purchase of gas with a registered debit or credit card.
We will not feel the pain in the pump forever. Until then, we all must make the best of a desperate situation.