So, what is up with falling gasoline prices? Well, gasoline purchases, for one thing. Not to mention driving, automobile purchases and, of course, pollution.
The declining price has to do with supply and apparently that is considerable, so much so, I heard, that America is now the leading fuel-producing country – that is, in terms of oil and natural gas output. I saw on the broadcast news yesterday, in fact, that the price of oil is now $66.88 per barrel.
What I’m having trouble getting my head around is why there would be an increase in the purchase of gas simply because the cost of such has dropped.
Registered motor vehicles in the U.S. number somewhere around 253 million. Of that amount, only so many vehicles are out and about at any one time. In this regard, the number 40 million rings a bell.
What I am aware of for sure is that here at home the yearly purchase of fuel weighs in at 135.4 billion gallons. Okay, so just because gas prices are lower does this mean existing or more drivers are going to necessarily be clamoring to purchase more fuel and therefore by association drive more? The picture is shaping up to be just that.
To possibly explain this, commuters/travelers who may have traveled by alternate means as their main means of transport/travel, may, instead, switch over to personal, private, passenger vehicles. Moreover, maybe, as well, vehicle purchases are being made above and beyond what would ordinarily be the case; a flurry of vehicle-purchasing activity may be prompted as a result, in other words.
But plummeting gas prices, the multitudes seemingly now crowing about, could this backfire?
The short answer: Yes. The drop in gasoline prices isn’t sustainable, obviously, and can only go so low and go on for so long.
It is true money being saved at the pump is available to spend on other things.
On the matter of car buying, for my money, a smart vehicle purchase, if a vehicle is to be purchased, would be an ultra-low emissions or zero-polluting vehicle whether fuel prices are falling or not. Moreover, history being an excellent teacher and if any indication, gas prices will bounce back. And, not if, but when that inevitability comes to pass: then what?
So, I gotta ask: As consumers, are we really thinking rationally about this whole falling gas price thing?
Not just this, but I also read, just recently, in fact, where people are getting back to the so-called “old ways,” purchasing gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs in greater and greater numbers. Old buying habits die hard, I guess.
America being the world’s leading fuel-producing nation is just a temporary condition. The change in fortunes so to speak is mainly on account of technology – for example, the employment of hydraulic fracturing (also known as fracking) oil-extracting methods – utilized in tapping shale oil from subsurface deposits which in this country at this point in time, seem more than plentiful. Oil that, at best, is: “bottom-of-the-barrel” grade – the lowest of the low in terms of quality – you tell me.
For what it is worth, it was much more encouraging with this country on a smarter track with vehicle fuel-economy ratings improving and a corresponding trend in the purchasing of motor vehicle fuel being less, in addition to reliance on alternate forms of transportation increasing, and the like.
And, on the matter of fuel, there is but one more thing to consider: 20 pounds of carbon dioxide is produced for every gallon of gasoline burned.