Rising gas prices fuelled by war


Photo by Nur Yavuz

Gas prices across the country and globe are taking a turn for the sky. The gas station next to the Cabin John Mall Shopping Center, seemingly deserted on a gloomy day.

By Nur Yavuz, Social Media Manager

Gas prices have already been on the incline due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and are only increasing exponentially as a result of geopolitical tension and domestic inflation.

Russia, being in the top three oil-producing countries in the world following the United States and Saudi Arabia, has been a major factor in the rising gas prices. Sanctions placed on Russia due to their involvement in the war in Ukraine has raised prices by an average of 64 cents per gallon since the day of invasion, according to Car and Driver. 

“People have been pretty annoyed about it. Despite knowing that it’s for a good cause, a lot of people are still frustrated by it,” WCHS student driver and senior Angela Luo said. “Considering a lot of us don’t have a fixed income, the rising gas prices can be a little hard to work around, but we’ll manage.”

Many are concerned about the long-term effects of rising prices on daily life. According to PBS news, gas prices are difficult to predict due to the ongoing war in Ukraine and ban on Russian oil, increasing chances for long-term effects on the market. 

“[rising prices] definitely takes a toll on student drivers including myself, because we have to set a greater amount of money aside to fill up our gas tanks to get to school and get back home with enough fuel in our cars,” WCHS senior and student driver Eric Chan.

The public continues to find alternative ways to cope with inflated prices. Social media has been fueling conversation about how the oil based car industry will be putting more weight into electric vehicles. 

“Some new factors I’ve noticed are how people are switching from individual transportation to private transportation because they don’t have enough money to keep up with the gas prices,” Chan said. “People are also switching to electric vehicles since they are more sustainable and electricity nowadays is much cheaper.”

Consumer interest in electric cars has been high in reaction to expensive fuel. However, this also takes a toll on the electric vehicle (EV) industry. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, since the date of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, EV sales have already reached a 30 percent increase from 2021 to 2022 alone. 

“I believe that the rising gas prices at this rate will definitely impact the economy and encourage the use of more sustainable cars,” Chan said. “Not only would it be cheaper for individuals and large corporations such as Amazon and UPS to invest their money into electric vehicles, but it would also allow these corporations to have a larger spending budget in different areas that they need to address and make improvements in.”

While it is most definitely difficult to see numbers climb during every needed visit to the gas station, it is important to recognize that in the grand scheme of things, sanctions on Russian oil are important for managing current geopolitical conflicts abroad. 

“I’ve noticed people have been more agitated with the rising gas prices, and in a way disappointed or devastated because they’re thinking about how it’s going to impact them as they are filling up their gas tanks in the near future,” Chan said. “On the other hand, I’ve also seen some people being understanding in a way because of everything going on with Russia and Ukraine.”

As harsh as the effect of increasing fuel prices may be on households worldwide, there is little that one can do at the moment to combat this problem. Instead of focusing on the negative, more attention can be paid on the new roads being paved for new industries in the market. 

“If you can’t pay for gas you obviously can’t go anywhere, and more money going into gas means less money for groceries, supplies, etc.,” Luo said. “I think the rising gas prices will spark some more investment towards clean and renewable energy for transportation but I think it’ll be a while before we truly see the impact of it.”