Students spend more at the pump as gas prices climb


Vivian Kaldahl

Senior Travis Cloyd fills his Toyota with gas at the Casey’s on Harrison. Photo by Vivian Kaldahl

Bergan Simmonds, Photography Chief

As drivers watch the numbers tick up on the gas pump this fall, they may have noticed that they’re spending more per gallon than in the past. For many, this gas price hike has taken a toll on daily life and has led to drivers conserving gas or often choosing not to drive.

”Before this price increase, I was already fairly careful with how much gas I use, but now that it has gone up, I really have to pay attention to it,” senior Travis Cloyd said.

Because Cloyd participates in many activities such as cross country, marching band, and clubs, this leads to him having to be in a lot of places and use a lot of gas. Like many, this has made travel harder for Cloyd.

“Of course I can’t just choose to not get gas, no matter how much I procrastinate doing it,” he said.

“Overall gas prices rising has just made me more upset with the system. For everybody working a 9-5 job and living a normal life, it has made meeting needs more and more difficult,” Cloyd said.

For everybody working a 9-5 job and living a normal life, it has made meeting needs more and more difficult.”

— Senior Travis Cloyd


This frustration has left many asking why gas prices are so high. One reason can be directed back to the devastating Covid-19 pandemic. OPEC cut back on production when demand was lower and hasn’t increased production even though demand is back up. In addition, labor shortages across the nation and an inability to not only pump essential materials for gas out of the earth but also transport said gas across the nation have contributed.

With such a shortage of essential workers such as semi-truck drivers, factory line, and refinery workers, gas companies just can’t keep up. This has caused the national average gas price to grow from $2.14 per gallon last year to $3.40 per gallon currently according to AAA. Omaha’s gas prices are averaging $3.20 per gallon, up from $1.98 this time last year.

With the gearing up of the US economy after the pandemic, it is natural for these prices to be high.

You may be asking yourself, “how are prices even determined?” Vanessa, the assistant manager at the Kum & Go on 144th and Q, says prices are sent down from the corporate office to individual gas stations. The prices that the corporate office sends down are based upon factors such as how much gas stations nearby are charging, how much fuel the gas stations have on hand, and how often they are getting it from their suppliers. This number can even be affected by how much crude oil gas companies can pull from the Earth. With this in mind, the shortage of workers and de- creased ability to get fuel to the gas stations is making it hard for companies to keep prices down. Vanessa even went on to say that the increase in prices has not had an increase in profit gas stations are taking in, showing that they are trying to keep these prices as low as they can.

The panic that this price spike has caused is hopefully short-lived, though. In June the US Energy Information Administration predicted that crude oil prices would stabilize mid-year now that global economic concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic have begun to ease.