Gas Price at $8 per Gallon: Are We Getting There?

Joanna Clark Simpson

Gas prices are so high that the sign at the gas station ‘We take Visa, Master Card, Discover, and American Express’ - becomes a warning rather than information. It warns you that after you fill up, they WILL take your Visa, your Master Card, your Discover, and American Express… and even your savings because the impacts of inflation are there to hit you.

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Survey says the US consumers are ready to pay more

Gas prices don’t make anyone happy. However, when asking consumers about their alternative options due to inflation, the majority say they agree to pay more.

According to a poll on high gas prices conducted by the PissedConsumer.com review platform, 47% of responders replied that they are willing to pay more to gas up vehicles, whereas 24% said they would switch to EV or ride a bike instead.

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As if gas prices are not bad enough, many consumers suspect that some gas stations are diluting the gasoline: high octane fuel – with the low octane, regular – with water, or ethanol, or possibly beer and maybe even jackass urine. Adding of pollutants and junk might destroy the engine. Though, the US still considers adding more ethanol to fuel to lower pump prices.

Trying to figure out how high the prices will go up, let’s not forget about the world economy and the impacts of ongoing conflicts. Gas prices rise not only in the US, but in the rest of the world as well.

The crisis in Europe stirs the pot, which inevitably affects US households. This short video explainer provides an overview of the connection between gas prices and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

When paying more for gas is not an option, what’s the alternative?

Using bicycles, skateboards, roller skates, or a pair of good running sneakers sounds like rational suggestion.

Having your car towed to work is cheaper than buying gas, though it is not a legitimate solution.

Electric cars are expensive, but power stations are more economical than fuel pumps. For those who have extra cash to buy an EV this may be the way to go. For others, who still rely on liquid fuel, alternative energy is something to think about. Like air, water, sun, geothermal heat, biomass, - anything but oil.

Imagine a car running on tree leaves, a vehicle that utilizes a roof-mounted collector to suck leaves from trees alongside the road and burn them to power the generator. That’s a creative idea, though it would not work in a desert or during ‘naked tree’ season and can be banned by trees preservation groups.

Wouldn’t it be nice to use all kinds of waste as a substitute for expensive, nature-killing oil? As a creative approach to garbage removal?

While no one has yet tried to power a vehicle with miscellaneous, unprocessed trash, you might be surprised at some of the experimental alternative fuels that are being developed. They are some controversial – trash is kind of not clean. Greenpeace warns that classifying garbage as a source of renewable energy risks protecting it rather than trying to produce less of it in the first place.

Besides, the incinerators (trash processors) are the leading source of extremely toxic chemicals. On the other hand, some argue that, while facing catastrophic climate change, using this energy is worth breathing in dirty air. Now back to the ‘garbage-to-fuel’ idea.

It may be disgusting, but waste – from both humans and animals – has proven to be a surprisingly efficient form of free renewable energy. In Norway, city buses run on biomethane, the byproduct of treated sewage.

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Now, we can feed our vehicles with our actual food. Valuable sources of biofuel include onions, apples, watermelons, nuts and chocolate. Imagine a chocolate bar replacing a gas pump. Yum! Nothing is better than a Ferrari running on chocolate. Okay, it is not actual groceries, but the production waste (usually processing not-for-sale rotting or imperfect stuff) that makes sort-of-greener-ish fuel.

Booze deserves special mentions. Alcohol, spirits, the hard stuff. Millions of gallons of which are confiscated by authorities each year—at customs checkpoints, underage drinking parties and similar occasions. A lot of alcohol poured down the drain until someone in Swedish government came up with a brilliant idea: shipping it to a waste-to-fuel plant that creates fuel for biogas-powered vehicles. Similarly, Scottish whiskey distilleries also run their own plants on byproducts of their own distilling process.

Poopy diapers are certainly one of the most eccentric alternative fuel sources. This is how the Daisen Rehabilitation Hospital in Houki, Japan, collected used adult diapers in order to recycle them into fuel pellets. They help lessen the environmental burden while also turning the incontinence into a stinkin’-good business opportunity.

Back to less disgusting stuff. Why not water? (The substance dishonest gas-providers use to dilute the gasoline). When you use gas, your vehicle is actually running on hydrogen. H2O is a great source of hydrogen and thus powerful fuel that could overtake coal, gas, and oil.

Sometimes outside-the-box thinking leads to fairly unusual ideas. A vital energy source, a way of survival in tough economy, and a fuel for slashing the outrageous fuel prices. Some day these ideas might wind up becoming a real deal. Until then, consumers have to face the surge of gas prices and decide whether they are ready to pay the price that might go as high as $8 per gallon.

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Joanna is the Head of Marketing at PissedConsumer.com, a review platform and consumer advocacy website. She analyzes customer experience and shares knowledge by providing tips to help consumers avoid issues and brands succeed with customers.

New York, NY
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