One activity I started doing a few months ago is recording how much gas costs every time I go to the pump. It started off as both a budgetary measure as well as just out of curiosity, but when I saw that projections said gas prices were soon-to-be on the rise, I knew my little research project was about to get interesting.
Here's a timeline of my fill-ups in 2012:
- 1/19/12: The day after returning to Minneapolis from spending the winter break back home in northern Virginia, I remembered that my Suburban was near-empty when I had left. I drove over to a nearby Holiday gas station, and filled 'er up. Price per gallon: $3.39.
- 2/21/12: Now commuting about 120+ miles per week due to a new commitment, I knew I'd be forking it over at the pump more frequently than before. In the past, I hardly used my car as everything I needed was within walking distance; one semester, I only got gas once. Nevertheless, I went to the same nearby Holiday station. Prince per gallon: $3.52, a 13¢ increase in 29 days (2.23¢ per day increase over that span)
- 3/4/12: Bundled with my commute and additional extracurriculars, I had also gone to watch a former high school chum play in a tennis tournament at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. one weekend (a 141-mile round-trip). I pulled up to that same Holiday station. Price per gallon: $3.59, a 7¢ increase in 12 days (1.71¢ per day increase over that span).
Having gone to the same gas station each times makes this all the more telling of just how serious this issue is, as naysayers can't lay claim that my data is an unfair comparison for differing factors from separate gas stations' locations or the company that operates them. This method was admittedly unintentionally at first, but I'll keep it up best I can.
This practice has been a very real way of seeing just how much gas prices are ticking up in such a short amount of time, and I highly encourage others to do the same in the coming weeks and months. It'd be especially interesting to see the differences in price, rate of increase, and anything else vary from one state to another.
Furthermore, bring attention to this issue of rising gas prices through real-world, daily-life examples may finally drive the point to the administration, even if that "drive" may be increasingly costly, because something tells me we're going to need to fill up more than a few times before they finally listen.