Monday, May 12, 2008

Relief From High Gas Prices

Joyelle Freeman

The economy is steadily declining and consumers across the country are forced to deal with the effects of high prices.

The Local Impact

Athens is no exception. Although regular service will start again at the beginning of fall quarter, there will be no CATS Shuttle service provided during summer quarter due to recent reductions in funding.

The CATS Shuttle service is funded by the General Fee Advisory Committee. The university’s Budget Planning Council ordered a 10 percent cut.

Thus, people will have to find other ways of transportation around the Athens campus for the summer.

OU Junior Corey Gaddis says he will be doing much more walking.

OU Junior Corey Gaddis says he will "be extremely tired from having to lose sleep" to walk to class.

OU Junior Rebecca Van Valkenburgh says she expected the service to be shut down.

Valkenburgh says she was "well aware" of the upcoming change.

What’s to Blame

High gas prices.

• The price of crude oil followed by the cost of refining are the biggest factors in rising costs, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The EIA says the market decides what people are willing to pay at certain times. For instance, one reason for the surge in gas prices during the early summer months is the number of people who drive to their vacation destinations to avoid the hassle of airports.

The EIA also reports that the world is getting richer and the economies of countries like India and China are growing, which has created more demand for oil and gas. The United States also uses a lot of energy. Therefore, high demand and low supply is the basic recipe for high prices.

Tips to Save Gas

One obvious tip would be to walk. Check out these other helpful tips from NPR'S Car Talk.
• Unless your engine needs premium gas, use the lowest grade of gas.
• Slow down.
• Your goals should be to use less gas when your engine turns. Drive in the highest gear possible, at the lowest possible speed.
• Try not to accelerate when driving uphill. This decreases your mileage per gallon.
• Brake less by anticipating stops. When you brake, you waste the acceleration you've already used.
• Put away any gear you may have on your car such as a luggage rack or roof rack. Also reduce the amount of gear in your trunk. This equipment can reduce your mileage per gallon by up to 5 percent.

Other alternatives may be to ride your bike or carpool with friends.

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