Students pay price at the pump as gas reaches record highs

Students pay price at the pump as gas reaches record highs

Olivia Ramirez, Staff Writer

Gas prices have risen to an all-time high in Iowa with regular gas averaging $4.13 per gallon. The dramatic rise in prices has been caused, in part, by the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, which began over two months ago. In an effort to harm Russia without using physical force, President Joe Biden announced a ban on any energy imports coming from Russia. This includes liquefied natural gas, coal, and oil. Russia is the world’s third largest exporter of oil, and over 40 percent of their budget revenue comes from the money they make from oil. Other countries such as Canada, Britain, and Australia have banned Russian imports as well. Countries that have not outright banned the import of Russian oil are still shying away from doing business with them because of the controversial war. 

While this has been a hard blow to their economy, Russians are not the only ones suffering financially. Students from Bettendorf High School weigh in on the financial strain the increase of gas prices has caused them.

“I pay for my own gas, so I have to budget a lot more because my job doesn’t pay a ton,” junior Zach Adams said. 

Adams is not the only one who has to cut back in other areas just to afford gas. 

“I have to pay nearly $80.00 to fill up my tank and it only lasts me about two weeks, so I don’t get to spend on other things that I need. My gas is so expensive that usually I just drive my car even when it’s on empty. No risk, no reward,” senior Annalie Bargmann said.

Despite the fact that Russia is one of the largest oil exporting countries, the U.S. only gets about 10 percent of their oil from Russia. If ending business dealings with Russia has hardly impacted the supply of oil, then why are prices so high?

There are many reasons why, but opinions on the driving force of the price increase tend to differ.

“I think major oil companies are using [the war] as an excuse to raise their prices. This war itself has nothing to do with oil,” junior Mason Fall said. 

President Joe Biden has also been under fire for the decisions he has made regarding oil production since he was elected president in January of 2021. One of his most criticized decisions has been the cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline project. 

“The removal of the Keystone Pipeline makes the distribution of oil more difficult. To get it over here, you need to send it on ships, which can cause oil leaks in the ocean. It also has to go through trucks or trains, which is slower. The Keystone Pipeline was much more efficient. Prices increase because you have to pay more for shipping,” junior Brent Teter said. 

The Keystone Pipeline is an extension that travels from Texas to Canada with the purpose of quickly transporting oil throughout the country. The project was commissioned in 2010 and, at the time of its cancellation, was still unfinished. The pipeline outraged many people because of the detrimental effects it was suspected to have on the environment. Because the pipeline would span thousands of miles, it would likely destroy the habitats of creatures all across the country and negatively impact the surrounding wildlife. 

“I personally believe that shutting down the pipeline was the best option. We need to protect the environment, not contribute to the destruction of it,” Annalie Bargmann said.

However, shut-down of the construction has also been controversial because the pipeline would have been a very efficient way of traveling gas.