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Gas prices on significant rise in California


Teen drivers adjust to high gas costs

Gas prices hit an all time high across the United States, especially in California. Average CA gas prices rise more than $2 above the US average. Gas prices over the past weeks spiked and/or fluctuated daily, with it only just now becoming stagnant. Despite this, CA prices still remain the highest in the nation by an alarming degree.

Over the past several weeks, gas prices inched closer and closer to $6 a gallon. However, that steady climb recently halted. Still, only California and Hawaii have average gas prices above $5.

National gas prices have slowly been dropping, while the average price in California continues to rise and fall, although at a much slower rate than previous weeks.

California lawmakers proposed a $400 per car rebate, given to all taxpayers, regardless of a person’s income. This means that the rebate could either provide not enough money to cover gas costs, or too much. The rebate, however, would only extend to two registered cars per household. The money would be coming out of the state’s $9 billion budget surplus.

“$400 for each registered vehicle that an individual owns, up to two vehicles,” Governor Gavin Newsom said in a Los Angeles Times interview. “That direct relief will address the issue that we all are struggling to address and that’s the issue of gas prices, not only here in our state, but of course, all over this country.”

It remains unclear as to whether or not lawmakers will actually go through with this. It has only been proposed, and a clear decision has not been made regarding the rebate.

Throughout SoCal, Arco gas stations plan to lower their gas prices to $4.99 a gallon. This change will be seen across almost two dozen CA gas stations. While this price may still seem high, it is a sharp difference from CA gas prices that have risen above $6 in some areas.

[/media-credit] High gas prices make it hard for some to consistently fill up their tank.

High gas prices severely impact Californians. Less and less people have the means to afford travel. Air travel, along with driving, suffer due to cost increases.

Diesel and premium prices are also severely raised, both even higher than the price of regular gas. Premium gas prices are about $1.20 above the national average, while diesel is about $1.30. There is also bio-diesel, which is about 30 cents cheaper than regular diesel.

Premium gas prices have always been higher, but in past years diesel has remained below the cost of regular gas. This is no longer true, meaning that people who bought diesel vehicles in order to save money no longer are.

Micah Friesen, who drives a diesel 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 2500hd, relies on an allowance from his parents to pay for gas. However, he still has to save that money as much as possible in order to continually fill up his tank.

“The rising diesel prices have affected me majorly,” Friesen said. “At the start of 2020 I could fill my diesel truck up for $70. Now I fill up my tank for $155, which lasts me between 1.5 weeks to 2 weeks, but I usually land at 1.5 weeks.”

Friesen has resorted to applying upgrades to his truck as much as it is possible.

“I also have tried to make my diesel more fuel efficient by adding upgrades,” Friesen said. “The upgrades directly target upping my miles per gallon.”

[/media-credit] California gas prices remain the highest in the nation.

In a survey of 93 Fresno Christian upperclassmen, 74% have a license, and of that percentage, 74% do not pay for their own gas, and only one third of students work. Almost two thirds of those with a license also drive their own car.

Licensed teenagers are affected by these raised prices as well. Teens busy with school and extracurriculars, like Ashlee Gallegos, ‘22, may find it hard to also work a part time job. Because of this, many parents pay for their children’s gas.

“My family has been paying for my gas since I’ve been able to drive. With extra activities like cheer after school, it’s hard to find much time to work for gas money,” Gallegos said. “To help them out, I drive my siblings who don’t have their license. I am so grateful that my parents help me so I don’t have to worry about it.”

One solution, proposed by the wealthy and the elite on seperate occasions, is buying an electric car. This, however, would be very difficult for many Americans, considering the high costs of such vehicles. Tesla, a popular electric car company, sells their cars for anywhere between $25,000 and $250,000. For comparison, the average annual income of an American, as of 2020, is $38,576.

Increased gas prices present a problem for many people, including teen drivers. It is a priority for many to save as much money when buying gas as possible. There are a number of ways one can do this, whether it be planning fill ups for earlier in the week when prices are usually lower, coasting when possible, carpooling or reducing AC/heater use.

Go to How to Save Money on Gas: 20 Simple Ways to Save or How to Save Money on Gas for additional information on how you can save money on gas.

To read more by The Feather, go to Greg Stobbe’s life altered by cancer, visual impairment or The importance of media literacy in news consumption.

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Amanda Johnson
Amanda Johnson, Editor in Chief
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