We have all seen gas prices in the last few months skyrocket to nearly $4 a gallon in Cedar Rapids, and it is not the only thing that has risen in price. Bread, pasta, milk and butter have all had price increases. For example, bread has had an increase of about 10 percent.
The gas prices are exceptionally frustrating. Yes, Europe and Canada are experiencing high prices, too. Yes, we are lucky that we are not going through what the people of Ukraine are going through.
The conflict in Ukraine is the main reason we are not buying crude oil from Russia, however the amount of oil the United States purchases from Russia only represents two percent of our oil and gas usage. The prices of oil effects the cost of other products because those products need transportation.
The United States could take steps to lower our gas prices by allowing our pipelines to be used. Supply directly effects the prices of gas and other products. In the last few days, President Biden has released some of our oil reserves which will only have a temporary impact on current prices if it manages to do anything at all.
What needs to be done is current oil leases need to be renewed as well as the expired ones and let pipeline workers go back to work in the oil fields.
That alone will have a huge impact on our economy. Right now, oil workers have been out of work for about two years. The reserves should be used during times of emergency not just because our economy is in deep trouble.
This rise in gas prices will go even further and affect farmers who use fuel to power their harvesting equipment and to transport goods. In the 1980s farmers destroyed their cattle because they had no other option. They couldn’t afford to send their animals to slaughter and it was cheaper for them to destroy their livestock than it was to continue to feed them.
We need to consider what is going on in our own country and not just in Europe. There is a potential of having a major war so we need to start stockpiling our own fuel reserves.
Biden using our oil reserves will not help us long-term. Fuel prices are something we all need to be concerned about. In the long term it is vital to not use fuel unnecessarily so we can reduce the demand and increase the supply by sending people back to work.
I’m asking you to do what you can to avoid unnecessary fuel usage and request that people are able to go back to work.
Fall 2022 Feature Editor
Jessica is in the Digital Arts program and previously graduated with an AA in Liberal Arts and a Bakery Certificate. She enjoys cooking, hiking with her dog, Daisy, taking pictures and spending time with her family.