Prices at the pump are soaring — and Americans are scrambling to change their lifestyles in response.
A Yahoo poll released earlier this month showed that 66% of drivers would make “significant changes to their driving patterns” if the national average cost of gasoline lies between $4.12 and $4.35 per gallon — yet the national average cost of regular gas reached a record-high $4.60 per gallon as of Friday morning, according to AAA.
“I started riding my motorcycle as my main mode of transportation, instead of just recreationally,” Alexis Hornickel of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, told The Daily Wire.
Hornickel is waiting for gas to drop below $4.00 per gallon before she resumes normal driving activity. “I’m a student, so I have a very limited budget,” she said. “My gas expenses just weren’t justifiable anymore.”
The poll also showed that 62% of Americans are willing to restrain their vehicle usage to necessities — such as doctor visits and grocery shopping if the price of gasoline hits $4.35 per gallon. While 41% plan to only fill their gas tanks with what is affordable, 35% are increasing their reliance on public transportation and 29% are canceling summer road trips.
“Last week I switched over to partial remote rather than full-time in the office because my commute to work every day with gas prices is becoming undoable for what I make,” Molly Johnson, a legal assistant from Norman, Oklahoma, told The Daily Wire.
“I also now carpool to church every Sunday and don’t go anywhere on my remote days in order to save on gas money,” Johnson added. In order for her to drive normally again, gas prices would need to be $3.20 or below.
The Biden administration — which has canceled expansions to the Keystone XL Pipeline and dragged its feet on issuing oil and gas permits — is arguing that higher gas prices may help the United States transition more quickly to renewable energy.
When pressed on “enormously high gas prices” at a press conference earlier this week, President Joe Biden said: “When it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over.”
Biden also pointed to his decisions to release millions of barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as successful in stopping gas prices from “getting even worse.”
“The price of gas at the pump is something that I told you — you heard me say before — it would be a matter of great discussion at my kitchen table when I was a kid growing up. It’s affecting a lot of families,” Biden said.
Other White House officials have frequently called on American families to buy electric cars in reaction to rising gas prices. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, for instance, claimed that Americans who buy electric vehicles “never have to worry about gas prices again.”
“The people who stand to benefit most from owning an EV are often rural residents who have the most distances to drive, who burn the most gas, and underserved urban residents in areas where there are higher gas prices and lower income,” Buttigieg said. “If we can make the electric vehicle less expensive for everybody, more people can take advantage, and we’ll be selling more American-made EVs, which means in time they’ll become less expensive to make and to buy for everybody.”