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Gas prices emptying students' wallets

By Nick Alvarado | Pulse Staff Reporter

Gas prices

In the world today, there may not be a more precious resource than oil, and students everywhere are feeling the monetary repercussions of just how in-demand “black gold” really is.

Unleaded gas prices in the San Antonio area are fluttering around $3.70 per gallon at the time of this report, and that’s considered low compared to other cities in Texas like Houston, which is in the $3.80 per gallon range. California at this time, along with some other states, are already experiencing $4 per gallon of gas.

Students generally do not make as much money as a person with a full-time job, so it’s safe to assume that they tend to feel the effects of their gas bills a little more than most.

This includes Alexandria Serna, a Liberal Arts major at Palo Alto who lives in Pleasanton, Texas, and has to make the 30-mile drive to San Antonio for school and work every day.

“I have to put gas in sometimes up to four times a week,” said Serna. “It’s pretty bad.” Palo Alto College student Vincent Zertuche, a Business major, also shared his frustrations with the current price of gas.

“Sometimes you don’t even want to leave the house because you know what it costs to fill up,” said Zertuche. “I try and carpool whenever I can.”

According to an article on Business Insider, a finance and economy-based website, prices will probably rise until at least autumn.

Reporter Jonathan Fahey wrote that the reason for prices getting higher is to capitalize on the large amount of summer driving that Americans do. Vacations and long trips are usually planned during the summer to take advantage of nice weather, thus driving up the demand and the price of gasoline. When things slow down around September, the prices then may see a decline.

This is troubling news for Palo Alto Education Major Michelle Martinez, who lives about an hour away from school. Martinez considered transferring to another college closer to her home because of gas prices, but ultimately she decided to stay at Palo Alto.

“I can usually spend up to $45 to $50 per fill up, and I'll normally fill up about two to three times a week,” said Martinez.

Different types of fuels being produced during the summertime are another reason for higher summer gas prices, according to Palo Alto economics professor, Dr. Belinda Roman.

“When we go into the summer months some states use different blends of gasoline so that’s going to change the price…” said Roman. “…they charge a premium during the summer to have access to that, so we’ll probably see prices start to climb…”

Prices spiked even higher than usual this year, and some experts are projecting $5 per gallon in certain states. Increased tension with Iran and some refineries being shut down are to blame, according to Roman.

Cutting down on driving will probably be the initial solution for many students looking to save a few dollars. Common alternatives to driving are using public transportation, carpooling, walking or riding a bike. It can be difficult to avoid driving during the activity-filled months ahead, but for many desperate students, there isn’t much of a choice.

For more information on upcoming activities and events at Palo Alto, visit http://www.alamo.edu/pac/pulse/