Rising gas prices strain the wallets of Utica University students

Gas prices have continued to rise in the Utica area. Photo was taken at the Sunoco across from Utica University.

Mary Christopher

Gas prices have continued to rise in the Utica area. Photo was taken at the Sunoco across from Utica University.

Matthew Robinson, Staff Writer

Gas prices are setting a record high and putting a toll on households around the country. A couple of main reasons prices have spiked are due to oil firms in the United States and around the globe resisting overproducing which has caused billions for oil producers and their investors.

Being a college student with other expenses can be stressful enough, but with gas prices reaching such highs, it can cause more concerns. Long road trips and leisure drives are no longer an option for some students who can’t afford to constantly refill their tanks, while some gas stations are not advertising the price because they are just too expensive.

Commuting to school every day can be a burden for some students. Junior Christopher Bruschi said he was initially confused with the spike of prices.

“When I was driving around a couple of months ago when prices started to increase I had to look again to make sure I wasn’t going crazy because of ridiculous prices,” Bruschi said.

Prices vary depending on government and state supplies, taxes and how close each state is to an oil refinery. Regular gas in the U.S. is on average $4.33 per gallon, but in nine states, it costs more than $5.00 per gallon.

According to CNBC, a gallon of gas in states such as California, Nevada, Hawaii and Washington are all over $4.70 with diesel prices soaring over $8.00, while Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma are the least expensive states with prices for regular unleaded gas under $4.00 per gallon.

“I’ve never had trouble putting gas in my car, but sometimes it’s a problem now if I don’t want to spend the money, but then I realize it’s my only source of transportation,” junior Sam Witkowski said. “At the end of the day, I just suck it up and spend the money because without it, I’m going nowhere.”

Another issue is gas stations going out of business because of reduced driving and challenges in getting oil shipments. The lack of truck drivers and the rising demand for oil and gas is causing supply chain problems and shortages.

President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. will ban imports of oil, natural gas, coal and some petroleum products from Russia, making it a problem for Americans. The last time average gas prices topped $4 per gallon was in 2008 when George W. Bush was president, according to USA Today.

Apps like GasBuddy, Gas Guru and AAA can track the cheapest price in any given location. Paying with cash is one way to save a couple cents, considering credit card prices are higher or it can be the same as the cash price. Uber and Lyft customers are paying more depending on location and time. Both companies announced adding a surcharge to deal with the rise in fuel prices.