In March of 2022, gas prices began increasing nationwide, affecting many people in the East Haven community, including student drivers at EHHS. These increased prices had effects on their lives within the community.
According to CNN author Chris Isidore, in his article Why US Gas Prices Are At A Record and Why They'll Stay High For A Long Time, the reasons for rising gas prices are Russia's invasion of Ukraine, less oil and gas being produced/received from other sources, and a strong demand for gas. Russia is one of the biggest oil exporters in the world and although not a lot of Russia’s oil went to the United States, “the loss of Russian oil affects oil prices around the globe” (Isidore). Due to COVID-19, oil and gasoline productions were cut as a way to support prices, but when the demand returned, production continued to be kept low.
Since the majority of student drivers at EHHS consist of Juniors and Seniors, they voiced their opinions on the topic. The majority said they dislike the increasing gas prices, describing them as “expensive and terrible.” Junior, Mia Flores-Soto considers the prices to be expensive but says: “I don’t mind paying more if that means closing off Russia’s oil and gas production.” Meanwhile, Senior Jilien Ayala says, “It is outrageous, [it] makes me limit what I do.” Although one of the causes for increasing gas prices is out of good intentions, some students aren’t happy about the effect it has had on them.
When asked if increasing gas prices have affected their social lives, half said it had little to no effect. They go about their day as usual, such as going to school, attending sports events, going to their part-time jobs, etc. Gas prices haven’t changed their typical day. The rest, however, describe the change in their social lives as subtle rather than drastic. Three students, Junior Diya Patel, Junior Callie Capotorto, and Senior Jilien Ayala, spoke about how they don’t go out as often. Senior Camryn Lendroth says, “I pretty much only go to school and back because the gas is so much I can’t really do anything else.” Alongside being unhappy about the increasing gas prices, teen drivers are also unhappy about how it has limited their social lives.
Students were also asked if they were considering any alternative methods of transportation like carpooling, biking, or bussing; 7 out of 8 indicated that they weren’t. Senior Camryn Lendroth’s reasoning as to why she isn’t considering alternative transportation methods is because of where she lives. Since Camryn lives on the other side of town in comparison to EHHS, another way of transportation such as biking isn’t an option. On the other hand, Mia Flores-Soto is considering alternative options such as carpooling or biking.
Some students are feeling pretty apprehensive about relying on a car while others are relaxed about the topic.