What Will It Take For People To Stop Buying Gas?

It's pretty clear that we, as a nation, need to reduce our reliance on gasoline. How can we accomplish this? One answer that frequently gets discussed is raising the price of gas (which would be accomplished by taxing it more heavily). In Europe, gas prices are more than double the prices paid by Americans. It seems to work, because Europeans use much less gas.

However, reducing consumption isn't quite as simple as just raising the price of gas. Driving is much more ingrained in American culture than it is in the lives of Europeans. Cities are built differently in North America – suburban sprawl makes driving almost a necessity.

Gas prices have steadily risen over the past several years (to the dismay of almost every car owner), yet people keep filling up their tanks. Just how much will prices need to go up before we see a significant shift away from a reliance on motor vehicles for transportation? According to recent statements made by Ford Motor Co. chairman Bill Ford, gasoline prices will have to go up a lot – possibly as much as 70 percent – before people decide to stop driving. A 70 percent increase would put gas prices around the $3.50 per gallon mark.

It's a bit puzzling to hear statements such as these from the mouth of a Ford. After all, if people decide to stop buying gas and start walking, riding a bike or taking public transportation, car sales would presumably plummet. It's possible that Ford simply has the best interests of our planet at heart – he may genuinely be concerned about pollution and global warming. However, it's worth noting that he may simply feel that a gas tax increase of 70 is unlikely and that he's safe saying such things because they won't come to fruition any time soon.

At what price would you stop buying gas? Let us know in the comments below.

Gas Stats
We've all complained about the price of gas, but the reality is that gasoline is cheaper than most liquids. The current national average for regular unleaded gasoline is just under $2 per gallon. For premium gas, it's about $2.15 per gallon. How does this compare to other popular fluids? Let's take a look (all prices are per gallon):

  • Kool-Aid: $1.85
  • Milk: $3.79
  • Antifreeze: $4.19
  • Bottled water: $6.40
  • Domestic beer: $8.88
  • Soy sauce: $15.33
  • Red Bull energy drink: $30.69
  • Dandruff shampoo: $37.74
  • Robitussin DM: $109.76
  • Nail polish: $92.80
  • Black printer ink: $2,701.52

(source)

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