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The high price of independence

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By Staff Editorial

By Staff Editorial

With summer just around the corner, dreams of southern California road trips with the top down and the radio blasting have turned into nightmares as gas prices have skyrocketed to more than $4 a gallon.

As usual, the increase is blamed on unrest in the Middle East. However, with oil companies constantly taking in record profits, it’s hard to swallow that same old excuse.

For college students, this price gouging is particularly tough, as many of them are already dealing with rising tuition fees and a decreasing job market.

With the lowest prices for gas in Riverside hovering just above $4, and the highest prices  nearing the $5 mark, the coming months do not seem to be promising.

In previous years the same prices were seen, but were accompanied with much talk of rationing and reserves. U.S. oil was running out from all places, and it seemed like the supply fossil fuels were just as extinct as the animals it came from. Not to mention all the talk of the struggles in the Middle East that was in part, due to oil.

Today is a different story. News channels and newspapers alike will talk more about Charlie Sheen and the royal wedding before talking about the rising prices, and how the supplies aren’t low, or that the reserves aren’t being tapped into.

So then what is the cause of all this?

What has been going on in Libya has been going on in response to Moammar Gadhafi, which is not related to oil that would affect the United States.

If the rising prices are soaring due to greed alone then the wallets and purses of men and women will be filled with outrage and emptied of money.

The economy isn’t in a good place as it is. So to have something essential to everyday life be so expensive that it becomes a burden is ridiculous.

Although it does not seem like there is much to be done about the price of gas, there is a lot that can be done to lessen the expenses. Carpooling is an easy, obvious, and over-stated trick that really does help. Why pay for a full tank when chances are the person who is driving would gladly take enough for a gallon or two?

RCC students should be using the bus now more than ever, instead of paying a dollar and some odd spare change. With the swipe of a card, transportation is free, and not to mentioned air conditioned too, and that’s one ride someone doesn’t have to go broke filling the tank on.

And for those who cannot seem to get away from driving themselves around, make sure to not spend more than is actually needed.

Chances are that if anything other than regular grade gas is being bought, that money is not being spent wisely.

 Unless the car sitting in the garage is a Ferrari, regular will do just fine. Most cars are made to run on regular octane gas, so there is no need to spend money when it could be saved for so much more.

Until the high prices decrease, commuters will have few options but to pinch pennies, and burn calories, not gas.

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