Who’s really to blame for high gas prices?
Pennsylvania gas tax is one of the highest in the nation and has influenced residents’ opinions on Biden’s administration. Many people in the Lycoming County area believe that the person to blame is the new president Joe Biden; this is simply a misunderstanding. He does not have much to do with the rising cost at all. Instead, people should blame the rise in crude oil prices, supply and demand, and additional tax uses for the state.
YCharts’ most recent numbers for the “Pennsylvania Crude Oil First Purchase Price” says it is currently at $38.06 per barrel. This amount is an additional 17.18 percent more compared to last month and about 29.14 percent less than a year ago. So that means when Donald Trump was president there were also high gas prices in Pennsylvania. A resident from Mansfield wrote into the Williamsport Sun-Gazette saying, “a wonderful ‘gift’ of a 25-percent increase from President Biden!” and “I hope all voters for Biden enjoy their increased commuter costs.” Despite his belief and many other residents’ beliefs, the president is not the cause of rising gas prices for the state. Crude oil prices fluctuate based on supply and demand. When the need for gas is greater, more crude oil is needed, so suppliers raise the prices to make more money. When the demand is low, suppliers will lower the price because they don’t need to put in as much work to get the oil.
Recently the U.S. experienced a life-altering pandemic which played a part in the supply and demand of gas. Many residents stopped driving as much during quarantine because there was nowhere to go.
Now that more and more public places are reopening, people travel more. Going from barely driving every week to traveling several times a day means a fast and high rise in gas prices. Also, residents live in town yet drive onto the main road rather than walking a few blocks.
Once people realize that by reducing the amount of gas they use prices will eventually drop lower. Although this seems like a simple concept, many residents may not understand why gas prices are rising. They also want to know what the government is doing with their money.
Local taxes on gas is going to make a significant difference for our area. Once again, a local writer says, “Fuel taxes at the pumps account for 74 percent of the state funding stream for highway and bridge maintenance, he said. Vehicle registration fees amount to 17 percent and 9 percent is from the general fund, according to the Williams and a check on the PennDOT website.”
Technically, the state is returning all the funds to their residents by providing services for local roads and highways. Roads to and from our county need to be mended and regularly taken care of throughout the year. Fewer potholes on roads mean happier, safer Pennsylvania drivers.
Residents of Williamsport, Hughesville, Muncy, and all over the state need to be more forgiving of the rise in gas taxes.
Instead of complaining, stop driving! Make an effort to walk or ride bikes to local areas to reduce the demand for gas and, in turn, eventually lower gas prices.
LEAH MARIE PETERMAN
Submitted via Virtual Newsroom