Gargantuan Gas Prices


Gas Prices as of Mar. 24 at the 76 gas station on Stearns and Palo Verde.

Charlie Hex, News Editor

Remember in 2019 when gas prices reached four dollars and driver’s around Long Beach panicked at the sight? Now those same people are sweetly reminiscing the times of four-dollar gas. As many people in the US and especially Southern California have already realized, gas prices have reached an all time high since the start of the Russia/Ukraine conflict. According to AP US Government and Politics teacher Dr. Russ Rudman, this change is related to the US attempt to ice Russia out of the economy. Choosing not to purchase oil from Russia is contributing to taking money away from their country and hopefully disallowing them from having the financial resources to attack Ukraine. However, banning imports of Russian oil (a major contributor to the oil supply here in the US) also lowers the overall supply of oil in the US, which drives up the cost of gas here. 

Long Beach prices specifically have risen to anywhere from $5.49 to $6.10 per gallon of regular gas (not premium) depending on the station and whether one chooses to pay with cash or card. According to an article by NACS (The Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing) gas prices can vary due to many factors such as taxes in different cities, fuel blends, where the store is located in accordance to competing brands, etc. 

Rudman says that these sharp increases in gas prices are causing there to be less consumer spending in other areas, which in turn affects the economy as a whole making it harder to employ new workers, give proper hours and wages, and keep businesses running. 

Gas prices as of Mar. 21, 2022 at the ARCO gas station on Bellflower and Atherton.

“The rising gas prices are ridiculous,” says an anonymous student. According to this student, “Sanctions on Russian oil have certainly had a negative effect [on gas prices in the US], but it’s important to remember that gas prices were rising before the war started.” This anonymous student was specifically referencing the cancellation of the Keystone pipeline project (proposed in 2008) that was supposed to bring 830,000 barrels of oil from Alberta, Canada to Nebraska in order to alleviate some of the United States’ reliance on oil from Russia. Since this project was canceled due to protest from US landowners, Native American tribes, and environmentalists, the US was forced to continue relying on foreign sources of oil, especially from Russia. 

At the end of the day, the increase in gas prices has been an economic burden for many, especially those here in California. However, it is important to remember the reasons behind this raise, and how the chain reactions affect the Russian economy and therefore potentially slow the attacks on the Ukrainian people.