Rising gas prices are felt by student drivers

Costs reach around $5 per gallon in the Bay Area


Erica Dembrowicz

Cal High students are unhappy with the ever increasing gas prices, which have nearly reached $5 per gallon throughout the Bay Area.

Inflation continues to skyrocket, heavily impacting gas prices, and frustrating students and teachers who spend time on the road.

Students at Cal High are unhappy with this increase in fuel costs, which have risen to around $5 per gallon compared to the $3-4 average just a year ago.

Senior Makaila Williams, who drives frequently, said that she is frustrated now that she spends more on gas during longer commutes.

“It’s annoying that gas prices are going up,” Williams said. “I have to drive a lot to dance in multiple places, and I have to gas up [often].” 

Students say that inflation has affected the types of cars they use and has had a heavy impact on how much time they spend on the roads.

Senior Tate Asborno said he drives a 1983 Chevy Blazer and has found himself paying more to fill his tank. Asborno has started driving his car less and instead drives his mom’s more fuel-efficient car because of the increase in gas prices.

“It’s really bad for me because my car is older and it requires more gas,” Asborno said. “Before it cost 80 bucks to fill a tank. Now the price is around 120 [dollars].”

“I don’t like the prices of gas going up,” said junior Alec Washler, who drives a Hyundai Sonata. “It’s really annoying because it’s taking a lot of my money.”

Senior Gabrielle Leonard, who drives a Mazda CX5, said she finds herself gassing up more frequently.

“I had to get a job to pay for my gas because I have to get it so much,” Leonard said. “[Filling up my tank] is over $50, and sometimes it’s not even a full tank.”

Leonard said she also burns more gas in her car going to school and attending events than before the pandemic, drastically increasing how much she spends on fuel. She’s also annoyed that local gas is more expensive than gas in places that are outside the Bay Area and state in general.

Before inflation, gas in the state of California was around $4, the most expensive gas in the country, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“I think it’s absurd that gas is expensive,” senior Trevor Rund said. “I was in Chicago not that long ago, and it was $3, which is a lot cheaper.”

Many people attribute the high prices in California to the state’s gas tax that was signed into law back in 2017. The tax was passed to help improve state roads. 

Californians pay a total of 66.98 cents per gallon of gasoline in state taxes when they fill up their tank, according to a 2021 national summary of gas taxes by the American Petroleum Institute.

“I think the gas tax has been created as a disincentive to try and persuade Californians to get off gasoline, and slowly move to electric-powered cars,” economics teacher Stephen Farwell said. “Inflation is a common occurrence in our economy, but it’s at a higher rate than normal.”

Looking for a resolution, senior Joey Wasley believes the federal government should take action to ease the inflation crisis. He expressed his frustrations with how President Joe Biden’s administration is handling the situation.

“I’m disappointed with our government, and our presidential administration because you can’t find [gas] anywhere,” Wasley said. “I have to be more conscientious of driving. I can’t leave the engine on, wasting gas, and being more efficient with it.”