The Drastic Changes in the Cost of Living

The Drastic Changes in the Cost of Living

Within the past year, the cost of gas has increased drastically. Two times within a year, Colorado Springs Utilities rates have risen for gas and electricity. In February of 2020, the average price per gallon of gas was $2.50. The average price per gallon dropped to $1.94 in April 2020. Just two years later the average price per gallon rose to $4.21. Council president Tom Strand states that natural gas costs continue to rise due to the war between Russia and Ukraine and the increase in foreign demand for liquefied natural gas. In February and May, Utilities rates dropped, however they are rising again.

The rise in gas prices has affected many people in our community in negative ways. During a Council meeting, civilian Natalie Ashton states “It took about two months for my bill to reduce, and it reduced $11…” Bills were promised to decrease, but not as much as residents of Colorado Springs are hoping. According to KRDO, “Springs Utilities said that while natural gas costs have risen 50% in the past ten years, natural gas generation is still cheaper than coal generation because of faster start-up times and lower overhead costs.”

So why are the gas prices rising so dramatically? A rare combination of economic and geopolitical issues. The speedy recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic produced higher demand for gasoline, which in turn, bumped prices up. The war between Russia and Ukraine is also a contributing factor towards the gasoline price spike, as they are some of the highest oil producing countries. “Gas prices increased this past year due to a lower supply with sustained demand. Supply was lower due to refinery issues and global conflicts.” Mr. Cooper, Odyssey’s economics and political science teacher said.

Despite the rise in gas for the past two years, everyone has been noticing the gradual decline in gas prices. Gas prices are at an average of $4 a gallon, after the peak of gas being over $5 a gallon. Though gas prices went down about 54 cents a gallon in a month, prices are still about 85 cents higher than just a year ago according to GasBuddy. GasBuddy states that the cheapest places for gas are Costco and Sam’s Club, at $3.48 per gallon.

Gas prices have stressed everyone out at some point, likely now more than ever. Though the price of gasoline rose to an all-time high, they eventually reduced. Gas prices affected everyone in our community. Even if you weren’t directly affected, you could have possibly realized that the bills were higher, or simply even heard your parents talking about it. Although the prices still aren’t as low as everyone is anticipating, there still is hope.