When it came down the Twitter-wire from WTOC-TV last week, I just scratched my head. What is with with gas prices?” Seriously. I had no idea. The photo that accompanied the Twitter question showed an Enmark gas station sign advertising regular unleaded gasoline for sale at $2.88 per gallon (takeout only). Is that a lot these days? I really don”t know. It’s not because I don’t care about money. I just don’t buy much of the stuff.
WTOC revealed what, indeed, was up in subsequent stories and it turns out that gasoline prices are rising. WSAV-TV was on the case, too, with Savannahians Speaking Out on Gas Price Spike.
We appear to entering yet another period in which the news media dusts off one of the most overused cliches in the business: “Pain at the Pump.” Soon people will begin suggesting all sorts of ways to suppress prices, from military campaigns in exotic locales and potentially disastrous schemes for getting at oil that some folks are certain is sloshing around right under our feet. And why not? After all, we recently learned we needn’t worry about climate change.
There are simpler ways to ease worries over gasoline price fluctuations. One is an inexpensive invention that I’ve been using for quite some time. I’m convinced that it would allow many of my fellow citizens to reduce the amount of gasoline they use. And here’s the kicker: Most of them already own this device. The secret is to use the device in a special way that prevents the need to visit gas stations on a regular basis.
Now, to be clear, it won’t completely shield a person from the effects of rising gas prices, even if they use it exclusively every single day. Fuel prices are reflected in the cost of every good and service we purchase. And, as mentioned above, rising fuel prices can ignite support for some pretty terrible ideas that—if they gain traction—will have negative consequences for everyone. Still, it’s pretty satisfying when you have to struggle to recall the last time you stood at a gas pump and poured money into a hole on the side of your car.
Do you own one of the useful devices I’m describing? Have you discovered how to use it in a way that reduces your gasoline consumption? Are you, like me, smugly disconnected from the daily changes in digits on gas station signs? Should we reveal the secret?