The Pros and Cons of Higher Gas Prices

by Kevin on May 3, 2011

The cost of a gallon of gas has increased dramatically in many areas of the country. Regular grade has sits at around $3.70 per gallon in my area. That is easily an increase of at least $1.00 per gallon (or 37%) from a year ago. Even $3.70 per gallon is nothing compared to a gas station near the Orlando airport. CNN Money reported gas there was priced at a tourist-gouging $5.69 per gallon in April.

It’s easy to think that higher gas prices are a horrible thing for everyone. It’s natural to think that when you are taking a direct hit in your wallet. But it isn’t always a bad thing. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of higher gas prices:

Why Higher Gas Prices are a Good Thing

Yes, higher gas prices can be a good thing.

1. Alternative Energy

Having your breath taken away as the gas pump isn’t fun, but as these costs continue to rise alternative energy becomes a stronger option. Capital investment into large alternative energy projects requires a realistic expectation of investment return. With gas prices rising, demand will increase for alternative energy, potentially paving the way to a healthier planet and more energy options.

2. Alternative Transportation

How many times have you been stuck in rush hour traffic, looked around, and been completely surrounded by only one person in each vehicle? If you are boxed in by 8 cars with only 8 drivers and no passengers, that’s a lot of gas being wasted. You could fit 8 individuals into 2 normal sedans, and save 75% of the gasoline used on those commutes by carpooling.

As gas prices increase, demand for quality public transportation will increase. Major cities like New York have such excellent public transportation that many people never use a vehicle of their own. Cities with poor public transportation and infrastructure will be forced to invest in these areas to remain competitive over the long-run. Without public transportation options individuals can still resort to carpooling, buying vehicles with higher gas mileage, or purchasing alternative transportation such as a motorcycle or scooter.

3. Local Food

A large amount of the food in your grocery store is shipped from outside of your city or region. With transportation costs increasing the price of this imported food will increase as well. This promotes better use of local agriculture. Eventually items sourced locally will be cheaper than imported items simply because of the cost of transportation.

4. Less Emissions

With individuals and businesses taking a direct hit in the wallet, driving should decrease. Trips will become better planned out — instead of taking 2 trips to the grocery store in a single week, you’ll learn to plan out your shopping more efficiently and get everything on 1 trip. With fewer cars or more efficient trips, less emissions will be emitted in the atmosphere. Smog and related┬árespiratory illnesses could decrease.

Why Higher Gas Prices are a Bad Thing

Of course, it isn’t all good…

1. Increasing Costs Everywhere

When gas goes up, everything else costs more. The cost of doing business — employees going to and from work, shipping of raw materials to a factory, shipping the finished product to a retailer — increases, and companies pass along those costs where they can. The cost is split amongst all the items shipped, but expect to see even basic items in your grocery store aisles go up.

2. Cutting Back to Buy Gas

When gas costs hit typical consumers that live paycheck to paycheck, something has to give. Even those that aren’t living paycheck to paycheck will adjust their lives to the higher costs. A bill has to be paid late, a service has to be canceled, or a luxury item is done without. This then impacts the revenues of all the businesses that no longer have you as their customer.

Of course the silver lining on this is that hopefully it is a wake up call to those paycheck to paycheck consumers. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll put together a budget, look at their expenses, and make some tough decisions that end up saving their financial futures.

3. Summer Trips

The cost of taking a summer trip just went up. Whether you are flying or driving, the increased cost of fuel will impact you. Automobile gasoline isn’t the only fuel that goes up.


budda May 9, 2011 at 1:05 pm

i hate this

bubba March 28, 2012 at 8:32 am

y? why do you hate this?

buppa September 27, 2013 at 10:31 am

maybe it wasn’t any use to him

buqqa September 27, 2013 at 10:32 am

or maybe it was

budda May 9, 2011 at 1:06 pm


smiles March 22, 2012 at 9:10 am

this is crazy why is obama doing this to us

yoseph July 9, 2014 at 9:12 pm

Don’t overgeneralize and blame EVERY PROBLEM on one person. Ever.

I’m really sick of these crazy nuts who blame Obama for everything. I’m also sick of the people who demonize an entire political party, Republican or Democrat, and blindly defend their own party. No, Obama isn’t perfect (far from it, but what can you do?), nor are the Democrats or Republicans, for that matter. So get over the fact that Romney didn’t win. Complaining won’t change the situation.

I do not claim to know everything about this situation and if Obama does or does not have something to do with high gas prices, but the blame is CERTAINLY not entirely on him. Crazy price increases are a normal part of the economy. Yes, that’s right, NORMAL. It happens all the time. I have watched something very similar (though much less significant) with boxes of pasta.

Now, back to my livid response to your stupid comment (not calling you stupid; I am going to assume you are very intelligent). We tend to make everything extreme, as humans. Fire is all bad. Nixon was impeached, therefore he was evil and a terrible president. It’s not true. Yes, fire kills people and burns forests. Yes, Nixon screwed up big-time and blundered a lot. BUT let’s not forget that fire creates more fertile soil, and allows seeds from certain plants to fall. And let’s not forget who got the U.S. on good terms with China, and who ended the Cold War, and who prevented Russia from nuking us here in the good ol’ US of A.

Think before you blame one person or party for all of our problems.

Yonah July 9, 2014 at 9:24 pm

Allow this to shed a little light on your warped perception of how the economy works and how ANY president can(not) control gas prices. Well, unless they set a price, but that would show that we learned absolutely nothing from the 1970s incident starring Nixon, Ford, and Carter, in chronological order. If you don’t know about that particular incident, then you have absolutely no right to spread ignorant, uninformed crap like this anywhere, and you better take a history class and an economics class. Hell, you need to take those, anyway. Maybe then you wouldn’t be so stupid.

yoseph July 9, 2014 at 11:08 pm

I caught an error in my earlier post. I said that Nixon was impeached. This is incorrect; he resigned before impeachment could occur. I apologize for the inaccuracy.

bubba March 28, 2012 at 8:31 am

i am happy you did this because i am doing a school project where i need to do this. a pros and cons page on gasoline prices being high. but dont worry im not using every single word you use. i promise that. so i dont have to go to jail. but this was a lot of help.

Baboulou June 17, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Obama is not the cause of high gas prices. It the greed of the people who are looking for no one else but themselves. By talking the old crap drilling, drilling baby drilling….

bubba May 14, 2013 at 8:27 am

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Obama May 14, 2013 at 8:29 am


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