Friday, December 31, 2010

Why I'm glad I no longer own a car

According to travel organization AAA, the average price of regular gasoline in the U.S. is $3.071, up from $2.854 one month ago and $2.623 one year ago. The data from the D.C. region closely mirror the national data, with prices here averaging $3.079. Both numbers are a long way from the record average price of $4.114, which was recorded in October 2008 during the height of the financial crisis. But still, the surge in recent weeks to average prices above $3 marks the first time prices have crossed that threshold since 2008.

And some experts are predicting those numbers will continue to tick upward. John Hofmeister, chief executive of the nonprofit organization Citizens for Affordable Energy and a former Shell executive, said in a recent interview with Platts Energy Week that he expects gas prices to hit $5 a gallon by 2012.

Now, there's an economic ripple effect to super-high gas prices that I'll no doubt feel, even though I don't own a car. We still take the bus and, occasionally, a taxi. But living in Center City Philadelphia and walking lots of places works pretty well too, and insulates us from the shock and pain that a lot of people will be feeling this year.

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