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The impact of falling gas prices

By Jonah Blatt, contributing writer

When people drive past a gas station, the immediate reaction is to look up at the mega displays that reveal the gas prices. If the prices are high, the driver is unpleased; but if the prices are low, the driver lets out a sigh of relief.

There are many reasons as to why gas prices have become so wallet-friendly. The U.S. is using more of its own oil rather than imported. The U.S. oil production is also increasing, which creates less strain on gas prices when it comes time to sell gas as the amount of oil will increase.

“Gas prices are going down in general because of natural gas and oil produced by hydraulic fracking in multiple areas across the U.S.,” said Jeannie Sowers, an associate professor in the political science department.

Many people are taking notice of the sudden drop in prices at the pump these days, which raises the question: What are people doing while gas is this low, and what effects could this cause?

“It sucks being here I’m actually annoyed I’m a freshman I just want my car so I can drive. Where I’m from, I’ve never seen gas under $3,” said Erin Hart, who’s originally from Connecticut.

“Usually a significant drop in gas prices results in people using more gas,” said Stacy VanDeveer, political science professor. “In the short term, it might also provide a bit of economic gain; if people spend less on gas, they may spend more on other things.”

Some people believe that even though prices have indeed dropped significantly, not much would change when it comes to gas usage and their daily lives.

“I don’t think I’ll drive more,” said freshman Christian Ferre. “I don’t really think I would take that spare money and use it on other things either. I would just hold onto it in case I saw something in a store I wanted. Any extra money is a good thing, especially since money is tight when you’re in college.”

Even though there are some positives to the sudden drop of gas prices and the flourishing oil production, some people believe these trends could hurt the world around us. The fear is that the production and usage of fossil fuels could damage the earth more than help the inhabitant within it.

“The problem here is that this tends to lock some people into using more gas in the future,” VanDeveer said, “and therefore emitting more greenhouse gases and other pollutants.”

In the meantime, prices are down, and some might say it’s perfect timing for some holiday savings. Some people may see this as a chance to save some bills, while others do early shopping for themselves. While people enjoy this short burst of wallet freedom from the chains of high gas prices, other complications may follow.

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