Big Ga$ Prices

Big Ga$ Prices

Caroline Ejzak, News Editor

As a relatively new driver, I am unfortunately now sucked into the party of people who complain about gas prices.

We all know just what they look like: brightly lit numbers in primary hues green, red, blue, and maybe yellow. These happy colors do not make happy drivers when they see the price.

Fueling up is an extremely uncomfortable experience in my opinion. If you’re me, every new pump you encounter causes a world of panic. It once took me 10 minutes to fuel up, prompting the nice gentleman from inside the gas station to come outside and politely ask, “You good?”.

Not to mention the awkward stance you have while holding a vessel of gasoline and feeding it to your car. And if it’s cold? Be prepared for misery.

In all honesty though, driving is one of the most liberating freedoms of your teenage years. Unfortunately for us, it turns out, gas prices are increasing in Butler.

Anyone who drives and pays for their own gas has to be aware of this, which includes many of the students in the high school.

Lucky for you and me, a website called “Gas Prices Explained” exists. According to this article, gasoline and diesel prices parallel changes in crude oil prices. Those changes are determined in the global crude oil market by the worldwide demand for and supply of crude oil. Here’s a breakdown from a diagram that I saw about what you’re really paying for at the pump:

57% is Crude Oil

18% Excess Taxes

14% Transportation and Retail

11% Retail Costs

If that means nothing to you, me either.

Let me explain, this shows that gas prices are constructed of many different components. My little birdy, “Gas Prices Explained”, told me that, “On average, taxes and fees currently make up approximately 21 percent of what consumers are paying at the pump.” So if you don’t want to pay a lot at the pump, you’re best bet would be to live in Alaska; that’s where state taxes are the lowest in the country.

I know that people that go to Knoch would much rather spend their money on Sheetz, clothes, food, or any other thing we’re “addicted” too. Unfortunately, we can’t have everything paid for us by our parents.  We all have to find our sources of cash to fuel our many needs. In Senior Kolton Buday’s case, he pays for his own gas money for his 1986 Chevy K10 pickup truck. From the date it was released and the type of car it is, you can probably guess that this car eats up your gas mileage.

He gets a max of 15 mpg on the highway and 8 in the city. He likes to fill up whenever his tank gets around ¼ left, he wouldn’t risk to wait any longer because he doesn’t want to get stranded.

Buday spends an average of $40-$50 a week on gas and knows where the gas is cheaper. With a car like this, he’s better off if he pays attention to the price. When I asked how he felt about the prices, he sighed and replied,

“I wish they were lower,” Buday said.

For future reference for all the drivers out there, gas is cheaper in Butler; at least according to Buday. He would know, his tank is ¼ lower from the drive from Knoch to Butler for Tech and his eyes are peeled for the cheapest gas on his way there.

Though they might be cheaper in Butler compared to Saxonburg, I was curious to see if he’d notice the increase in price in Butler.

“Yes,” he said, “it’s definitely higher.”

So we know that he pays attention to price, but what about a girl’s perception of price? Senior Sarah Vasas notices a significant difference in gas price between PA and Ohio. Vasas takes frequent trips to Youngstown University to visit her boyfriend, resulting in many pit stops.

“In PA, I pay $50-55 for a full tank,” says Vasas, since she only fills up her tank when it’s near empty, “In Youngstown, a full tank is from $36-40.”

Vasas admitted that she did not notice gas prices increased in Butler. Her reasoning was that she assumes the prices are always bad, so the fluctuation between bad and worse doesn’t stand out.

Maybe she really does enjoy driving across state borders just to see her boyfriend, or maybe she just likes the gas prices. I wouldn’t blame her either way.

Despite the fact that getting gas is bothersome and not an enjoyable task, at least we live in an area where we have access to many fuel pumps, as well as having the opportunity to drive around in our own modern age cars. Even though the open road can have potholes, at least some of it is paved.