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Gas prices continue to rise, commuters see affects

commuter gas

Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

As gas prices continue to rise, college students, especially commuters, are being affected.

Energy economics professor Edward Hirs shared thoughts on what could be a leading cause of the sudden rise in gas prices across the country. 

“OPEC wants a higher price for crude oil. It is that simple,” Hirs said. “Keep in mind that the pandemic has been an economic disaster for the OPEC countries. Oil is their primary source of revenue.”

The pandemic has demonstrated that it is not only affecting our health but our economy as well. 

“During the pandemic, the low oil price led to hardships across the nations,” Hirs said. “Saudi Arabia cut the pay for nurses to zero. And, the OPEC nations have NOT had the benefit of our vaccination program. They have been battling COVID-19 without the benefit of their formerly reliable revenue source.”

Hirs also said this should come as no surprise.

“I think gas prices have been higher than people have been wanting,” said Alonso Rodriguez, a journalism junior who commutes to UH. “As a student you find it harder and harder to commute every other day plus driving back and forth to work and running errands.”

Since Rodriguez also works along with school, he says paying for gas on minimum wage has been difficult. 

“Making just a bit over minimum wage during a pandemic while going to school and having to pay almost $3 a gallon for gas takes up a fourth of my check,” Rodriguez said.

Hirs also explained what key points, if any, led to this point and what we can do to help lower the prices again.

“There is nothing we can do to lower oil prices if OPEC+ does not want lower oil prices,” Hirs said. “All of our measures would provide temporary relief at best. And, why do we want low oil prices? Aren’t we working to lower carbon emissions?”

Gas prices may not lower down for a while, but there are some solutions to help you save money. Hirs suggests carpooling with friends or family or using public transportation to campus can help you not only save money but also reduce carbon emissions. 

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