Travel

Inflated Gas

A hillbilly credit card, otherwise known as a siphon hose.

Gas has inflated substantially this year, and I’m not referring to all the political speeches ahead of November’s mid-term elections. No, I’m referring to the price of that awful tasting juice we pump into our cars. And I know it’s awful tasting because I’ve tried siphoning it a few times, through my hillbilly credit card.

Gone are the good ol’ days, when you could fill your 15-gallon tank for a mere three bucks. That was back in 1930, when gas sold for 20 cents a gallon. But in 1930, 20 cents went a heck of a long ways. I did a little research and found that two dimes that year equates to $3.46 in 2022 money.

But still, the national average price of gas is $4.86, as of this writing, on June 6, 2022. So, when adjusting for inflation, it seems we’re paying substantially more to fill our tanks this year, than our ancestors were spending on their Model T’s, 92 years ago.

This left me wondering how the price of gas compared with the years after 1930. So I got on Google, and dug my calculator out, and changed the spark plug in my brain, along with a few other tune-ups, then fired my thinker up to arrive at some scientific-like conclusions.

With the help of Google, I made a chart showing the national average price of gasoline at five-year intervals from 1930 through 2020. And then, using the geniuses at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (who also know how many times I’ve been fired from a job), I found the Consumer Price Index for each of all those years. From that I was able to add a column to my chart, showing the price of gas in 2022 dollars, for each of those years.

Here are my results:

YearActual Price2022 Price
1930$0.20$3.46
1935$0.19$4.01
1940$0.18$3.72
1945$0.21$3.37
1950$0.27$3.24
1955$0.29$3.13
1960$0.31$3.03
1965$0.31$2.85
1970$0.36$2.62
1975$0.57$2.97
1980$1.19$3.98
1985$1.12$2.96
1990$1.15$2.48
1995$1.15$2.16
2000$1.51$2.50
2005$2.30$3.36
2010$2.79$3.66
2015$2.45$2.98
2020$2.17$2.40
2021$3.04$3.15
2022$4.86$4.86

Notice how the 2022 equivalent price doesn’t change much until 2022? I felt surprised on seeing this, how gas prices have been so stable. At least until this year.

I averaged these numbers out, and found that the average 2022 equivalent price of gas, from 1930 through 2020, is $3.10 per gallon. Thus, today’s price of gas, at $4.86 per gallon, is about 57% above the historical average. It’s also the highest we Americans have ever had to pay for gas. The second highest price occurred in 1935, when the piss-poor peons suffering during the Great Depression were shelling out $4.01 per gallon (in 2022 dollars).

Our President Biden likes to blame Russian President Putin for our high gas prices, due to the war he started in Ukraine. But the Ukraine war can’t be the whole reason. When you look at gas prices in 1945, 1965, and 1970, when the U.S. was at war, gas cost substantially less than today. And today, we’re not even in a war.

Some blame the high price of gas on Biden, who they say is making it more difficult for oil companies to drill for oil. They claim he wants gasoline to be so expensive we’ll buy electric cars. That way we can decrease global warming. But hell, when I examine my skyrocketing electric bills these days, I shudder at the prospect of plugging a car into my house.

This left me wondering if the president actually wants us to trade our gas-guzzling cars for a good pair of hiking boots. So I got online and researched the price of hiking boots. And, holy shit! It seems my actual footprint is getting to be about as expensive as my carbon footprint.

Maybe instead of a road trip or hiking trail this summer, I’ll just stay home. I’ll sit around in my livingroom, wearing slippers, while listening to the inflated gas of politicians on TV, who rail about the inflated price of gas.

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Categories: Travel

28 replies »

  1. I was relieved to hear from my friend down your way that the local gas stations are putting in new pumps to read another digit. For awhile there, I thinking it might be a conspiracy to start selling gasoline in those foreign “liters”.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You took a chart with 5 year intervals and compared that to 2022, which is a more local price point related to the current economic situation. Not sure that is completely fair.

    One of the main issues holding back additional drilling in the US is the labor force as we are also in a period of remarkable demand for labor. We have the oil rigs and the will to use them but a lot oil rigs cannot be staffed at the moment with qualified personnel regardless of whatever political decisions have been made about pipelines or whatever. There is also a rather constant amount of US refining capacity, so it does take time for surges and ebbs in demand to filter through that.

    This all seems to happen about once a decade. Everyone has a fit about gasoline prices and the end of civilization is proclaimed. People don’t really change their behavior one way or the other and a year later things are back to normal and people have forgotten about it again.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. The price of gas from the windbags in DC is sure to remain cheap.

    I really don’t think that anything Presidents have done to set policy has had much of an effect on gasoline prices as it is a global market. It is driven by demand and futures prices. Drillers drill based on futures prices. The middlemen buy and sell futures based on predicted supply and demand. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent futures soaring. The middlemen priced that in and then the price showed up at the distributors.

    Russia’s oil exports have been somewhat protected from many sanctions. OPEC is supposed to increase production. Biden has engaged Venezuela to increase oil exports, which has been a touchy matter. I don’t think that there is really an oil supply issue and I think that prices will catch up to that. I think that the market got spooked as it often does.

    But, I can’t even stay atop supply issues in the industry in which I am purported to be an expert, so maybe you shouldn’t listen to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Supply issues are a mess, that’s for sure. If the high price of gas is due to futures speculators, and if the oil supply has remained fairly steady, then I would expect that sooner or later the price will come crashing down, and a lot of speculators will be taking a bath in gas. Which I understand acts as a very good solvent.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. There’s lot of reasons for high gas prices (and inflation in general) and Biden ain’t on it. Pandemic supply chain issues continue while “post-pandemic” demand surges. Labor shortages in almost all industries further tighten supply. War in Ukraine/Russia and OPEC not increasing supply. US oil companies not investing in drilling. Refinery shortages and limited capacity. Corporate profit taking (record high profits for oil companies). Lack of real competition in most markets. Prices are going to stay high until demand slows or supply catches up, but neither is going to happen for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

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