Our two-tier gas prices

Bruce Krasting

Consider this map of the country. The green area is where the Canadian crude is helping to keep prices lower. The dark red areas are those that are dependent on the high-priced, imported crude.

State GDP is directly correlated with vehicle registrations. The red-colored states, paying the highest prices today, represented 57% of 2010’s GDP. Green states, contributed only 8% GDP.

His primary point is that if gas prices reach $5 a gallon in CA and NY then it will derail any possibility of economic recovery. If that happens and Greece defaults, which is also quite possible, then Obama will be in serious trouble, even considering the current clown car train wreck that is the Republican primary.

Gas sales drop 20% in Britain

High gas prices are causing British motorists to drive less and switch to mass transit. Which is something many US motorists probably wish they could do, but if you live in the suburbs where there is no mass transit and drive long distances to work, then you’re stuck.

When we lived in Connecticut in the exburbs, while there was some shopping nearby, visiting friends or other shopping required a 10-15 mile drive or so. Now that we’re in the San Francisco Bay Area in a much more urban area with a BART station a three minute walk away, well, everything changes. We use the cars much less, and when we do, drive shorter distances. In fact, we will probably sell Sue’s 2001 VW New Beetle Diesel (Interested? Let me know, it gets 40 mpg) because we only need one car.

With high gas prices unquestionably here to stay, areas where automobiles are a necessity will increasingly be at an economic disadvantage to areas where they are not.

BTW, The CostCo across a parking lot from us often has a quite long line of cars waiting to buy gas at $4.29 a gallon (vs. $4.41-4.69 elsewhere.) Question. If you sit in line for twenty minutes waiting to gas up while the engine is idling in order to save 12 cents a gallon, how much are you actually saving?

Gas Buddy price map

Gas Buddy makes it easy to see how expensive gas is in your area as compared to elsewhere. We just moved from the only state that is entirely red, Connecticut, which thus has the highest prices in the contiguous US. This is in part due to pipeline and transportation costs but mostly because of the extremely high tax on gas there.

Diesel is now $5 a gallon in some parts of the country. Our second car is now en route via a car carrier.  Most of the truckers doing the actual hauling are independents getting a flat rate for hauling a car and have to pay for diesel themselves. These high gas prices are killing them and their profit margins.