Are gas prices causing you do take drastic action?

I spent five minutes last night standing in my drive way trying to decide if going to the grocery store was worth the gas. It’s a sad sign of the times and according to the Chronicle it’s only going to get worse as we collectively grind out more miles this summer. At $2.79 a gallon my poor little Jetta is clocking in around 10 cents a mile. I don’t think I’ve ever been aware of how much it costs to drive a mile before. I’m actually thinking about moving just to cut down on gas and drive time.

Thinking back on those glorious days of 99 cent gas just a few years back, I’m starting to feel like a lobster in a pot. How did this happen? When the heat’s turned up little by little it seems we hardly notice. Now I’m starting to resent little trips across town. More and more of my friends are talking about trading in their SUVs for Hybrids. Have we reached the point where gas prices will start to affect our behavior? Will there soon be more hybrids rolling down Westheimer than Hummers? Have high gas prices caused any of you to do anything drastic – change locations, trade in your gas guzzler, bike to work or worse (gasp!) walk some place?

8 Comments so far

  1. adrian (unregistered) on April 11th, 2006 @ 5:48 pm

    I’m kind of an environmentalist anyway, so I’m itching to do things that conserve. But yeah, I moved to the Heights out of Alief, I walk where I can, car pool, drive a tiny standard toyota, etc.

    I would love to use more public transportation if it was even remotely convenient.

  2. a~lotus (unregistered) on April 11th, 2006 @ 9:33 pm

    yeah, i would use the public transport too if it was too… i agree with you Adrian…

    gas prices are already shooting to 3 bucks in some areas… i’m just glad that i’m not living in cali where it’s probably like what? 6 or 8?

    but yeah, with the gas prices going up like this, i don’t feel like going anywhere except when it’s necessary.. and when i do, i usually plan out a route where i do ALL my errands without having to go back and forth and waste even MORE gas.

    and yes, there are more smaller fuel-efficient cars on the road! no more preference for big trucks or SUVs these days…more or less anyway.

  3. Chris Durst (unregistered) on April 12th, 2006 @ 7:39 pm

    I’ve biked for a long time, but I used high gas prices as an excuse to buy a motorcycle (50 mpg vs 20).

  4. Eric Scalf (unregistered) on April 13th, 2006 @ 2:03 am

    Hell, I’m considering opening a business to convert regular diesel engines to bio-diesel. It’s cleaner, and it can be next to free to get fuel. Plus, you can effectively switch between regular and bio diesel, on the flu.

  5. HouDog (unregistered) on April 13th, 2006 @ 9:24 am

    Eric, let me know when you are ready… I will partner with you. I have been thinking about that too.

  6. Luke Gilman (unregistered) on April 13th, 2006 @ 10:12 am

    Speaking of fuel alternatives like bio-diesel, that may be the best thing of all about high prices. Exhorbitant oil prices open up a market for emerging technologies to become price competitive instead of just environmentally responsible. Willie Nelson is a great spokesperson for the market with his bio-willie fuel and has a map of retail pumps that’s starting to look tenable. I would love to hear more about it.

  7. jc (unregistered) on April 14th, 2006 @ 2:34 am

    A) Houston public transit sucks. I used to work right next to the Park Ten Park-and-Ride. One way service, inbound AM, outbound PM. If I had lived there and worked Downtown, no problem. In the opposite direction, cube root of fuckall. Simularly, there was no reason for my commute via Metro from circa Hobby Airport to the Galleria to take three and one-half hours.
    B) Seasonal gas price spikes are an artifact of government policy requiring production of #2 heating oil up until Spring Break time. Ask anyone at any refinery – it’s a long hard job to make the turnover. This is why futures gambling on home heating oil have been such a “hot tip” for the last I don’t know how many years – Uncle Sucker buys up the excess production at inflated spot prices and then sells to damnfool Yankees at a subsidized price.
    Both piss me off. My tax money wasted, not just one way but many, simultaneously. And they think they’re trying to help.
    “When I hear the words ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you’, I reach for my revolver”

  8. adrian (unregistered) on April 14th, 2006 @ 11:19 am

    Eric, if you do, let me know. I can seriously help.

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