So, you’ve just filled up the tank of your Chevy Silverado, and your wallet is a good $85 lighter.
Yeah, you moan and complain and curse out the Exxon Mobil execs and their multimillion-dollar yachts that your driving habits support, yet you continue dropping the cash every week to make sure the ol’ truck is properly hydrated.
If gas hits $5 per gallon this summer, as some experts predict, the bill to fill up a 2010 Silverado’s 26-gallon tank will come to $130.
While expensive fuel is a serious budget-breaker for many individuals, it does have its benefits for the collective good. Well, at least according to one columnist…
Lynn Mucken writes for MSN Money and has attempted to craft a piece intended to make us all feel better about our canceled road trips and shrinking bank accounts. Mucken argues that with $5 gas, fewer drivers will be on the road, which means less congestion, less pollution and fewer road fatalities.
That’s an interesting thought, but I’d challenge her to drive the 405 Freeway in LA at 5:30 in the evening and experience just how much less congestion is out there.
Mucken also points out that increased gas prices lead to increased airfares, ultimately creating shorter security lines at the nation’s airports. While that may be true, there will always be plenty of people who must travel, and shorter lines won’t be much consolation after coughing up a thousand bucks for the flight to Denver that used to cost $500.
So far, I’m not convinced of any upside to $5 gas. But Mucken isn’t done.
She claims that expensive gas could eventually make fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya too costly to continue. On top of that, more people in the U.S. would walk or bike to work, creating a healthier lifestyle for many Americans.
Shareholders of big oil companies also stand to make big bucks as they take their share of enormous profits (Exxon alone made $11 billion in the first quarter of this year).
Ultimately, Mucken points out that higher prices now will lead to lower prices later as demand decreases and supply increases.
Of course, once prices are down again, the cycle will simply repeat.
Do you see any upside to $5 gas?