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Posted on Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

As gas prices climb in Ann Arbor area, commuters feel the pinch

By Heather Lockwood


Brandy Ekins of Jackson fills up her car Tuesday in Ann Arbor. She drives 70 miles round-trip five days a week to her job in Ann Arbor and is worried about the rising cost of gas.

Lon Horwedel |

Brandy Ekins is all too familiar with rising gasoline prices.

She commutes about five days a week from her home in Jackson, to her housekeeping job at Weber's Inn on Jackson Avenue on Ann Arbor's west side.

Ekins stopped at Shell, 2500 Jackson Ave., after leaving work Tuesday afternoon to get gas. At $3.25 a gallon, gas was too expensive to fill up the tank of her Ford Windstar, she said.

"We're really on a budget, so I try to put less in at a time," said Ekins, who has three children and whose husband has been laid off from his irrigation job. "I just put in $10 and that used to give me half a tank. Now it only gives me a quarter of a tank."

Gas prices were up about 5.5 cents on average in Michigan this week compared to last week. Compared to this time last year, they're up nearly 60 cents a gallon, and Nancy Cain, a spokeswoman for AAA Michigan, said drivers shouldn’t expect to get relief at the pump any time soon.

She cited two central reasons for the rising price of gas — political unrest in Egypt and the weakening of the U.S. dollar.

“Unfortunately, we don’t see either of these things ending really quickly,” she said.

Though the U.S. does not get much oil from Egypt, much of the world’s oil must travel through its Suez Canal, she explained.

And the price motorists pay at the pump correlates with the cost of crude oil, which is near $88 a barrel, Cain said Monday.

The fact that gas prices have been on the rise in recent weeks is unusual for this time of year, Cain said, because they tend to dip in the winter months, as people are driving less and demand decreases. Nationally, January is the month in which people drive the least, she said.

This week the average price of gas in Ann Arbor was $3.223, up from $3.173 last week. And last year at this time the average gas price was $2.643, according to AAA Michigan.

Ekins said her family has had to cut back on things, such as going out to eat, so they can better afford the gas she needs to travel the 35-some miles each way to her job. She estimates she spends about $60 to $80 on gas each week and sometimes relies on the tips she earns to pay for it.

"Some nights, if I had not gotten those tips, I don't know how I would have got home," she said.

Mark Griffin, president of the Michigan Petroleum Association and the Michigan Association of Convenience Stores, said he could not offer a projection as to how high gas prices could climb because "no one knows."

"If you just go back to the basics, it's about supply and demand and it's about speculation," he said.

Griffin said crude oil prices are what drive retail gas prices, and the price of crude oil fluctuates.

"On January 8, it was around $90. Toward the end of January it was down around $85," he said, referring to the price per barrel. "It moves around a lot."

Griffin explained how the price drivers pay at the pump can be broken down. On Feb. 3, in Lansing, Michigan, the average retail price of gas per gallon was $3.10. Of that $3.10, on average:

• $2.50 accounted for the "product-only price," or the price of 87-octane gas. • 2 cents for freight • 18.4 cents for federal motor fuel tax • 19 cents for Michigan motor fuel tax • .875 cents for Michigan underground storage tank fee • 16.5 cents in sales tax on the retail price • 10.7 cents went toward the cost of running a gas station, such as labor and utilities • 5.6 cents for credit card fees

The total cost of $3.23 per gallon, minus the average retail price of $3.10 per gallon, means gas stations in Lansing were losing an average of 12 cents per gallon that day, Griffin said.

"There are so many gas stations chasing what has been a declining number of customers," Griffin said. "We survive off the inside sales."

Inside sales include sales of candy, pop, snacks and other convenience items. Griffin said gas stations — like consumers — prefer it when they can sell gas at a lower price, as it brings in more customers and increases inside sales.

Karena Huff of Howell commutes to her job as a undergraduate student services assistant at the University of Michigan Department of English, Language and Literature.

"I have two kids, so we've had to cut down on going to McDonald's or pizza nights," said Huff, who is also a part-time student at Washtenaw Community College working toward an associate's degree in administrative assistant technology.

"I just cut back on my cable," she added.

Huff said she has commuted to her job for about two years and estimates she spends about $75 a week on gas.

"The oil companies are rich enough," she added. "How do they expect us to live every day if the prices keep going up?"

Andrew Brix, energy programs manager for the city of Ann Arbor, said that while no one knows for sure what will happen with the price of gas in the short term, the fact that there is a finite supply is bound to create challenges.

"We know that there's a limited amount of oil in the ground and at times that's going to mean we have tight supplies," Brix said. "And that means prices are going to be more variable than they have been in the past."

He added, "We have to be prepared for the fact that gas prices may be high and may stay high."

Cain said that while drivers can’t control the price of gas, they can make some small changes to save money, such as driving slower, driving less, keeping the engine in good repair, and not buying premium gas unless the vehicle requires it.

• Click here for more information on gas prices in Michigan and across the U.S.

Heather Lockwood is a reporter for Reach her at or follow her on Twitter.



Mon, Feb 14, 2011 : 3:01 a.m.

I'm sorry, the only ways to reduce the amount of fuel that you use is to either drive less, get a more efficient vehicle, or to learn to drive more efficiently (only very modest improvements are possible with the last). Never filling the tank is not going to make you use less, unless you are running out of fuel in the middle of a trip and have to walk the rest of the way there (not recommended). I think the woman from Jackson in the article who made a practice of that is probably only succeeding in giving herself some mental delusion that gives her a false sense of relief because somehow many small bills somehow feel less than one large bill, even if they add up to the same expenditure. If she's really struggling to pay for fuel, its probably time to trade in the fossil fuel hog for an economy car, and she should do it before the prices for fuel go above 4$/gallon, at which point economy cars will be impossible to find again, judging by the last time that happened and everyone decided it was time to trade in their Hummers at once. My "economy" car is not very efficient compared to the cheap Geo Metro I was able to get a decade ago, but that was the best I could do since I can't afford a hybrid. I got it in early 2007 before any of the recent fuel price shocks, and even then I was not able to find any "economy" cars with good durability records available locally, even if I was willing to buy a new one. I ended up doing a nationwide internet search, found one several states away, and arranged to have it inspected by a mechanic, and put money down on it long-distance, then took public transit to get it and drive it home. Still, its tank doesn't hold much over ten gallons, which takes it about as far as the huge tanks in Hummers take those vehicles, at a fraction of the cost. This hatchback can haul 5 passengers and some gear in the back, or even haul some construction materials on the roof rack - I use it for most things a pickup does, and parking's


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 6:41 p.m.

They are just taking advantage of the situation. Do you seriously think our oil today is coming from the Suez Canal in a tanker that started only 10 days ago? Today's gas would have been transported atleast 1-2 months ago if not sooner. Then why the increase in the stock price of gas that is already in the country? Reality is that oil companies control the nerve and they take advantage of any and every situation possible in the most heartless manner. They screw up in Gulf and people have to pay ultimately. If this is not modern day slavery, then what is? We are like slaves and shell up whatever amount they ask us to pay.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 6:03 p.m.

Time for me to start using my bike!


Mon, Feb 14, 2011 : 2:38 a.m.

This is an intelligent thought, and I'd be doing it myself, except sharing the road with cars on slippery winter pavements with shoulders piled high with snow feels suicidal to me. No place to escape to if something starts going wrong, and many drivers still drive as if there is no problems with traction, tailgating you even though they'd likely kill you if you slipped when they are that close. The bus is an option, but not very effective in time, cost, or efficiency, if you aren't headed to an area near one of the hubs during business hours. Where I'm currently staying on a smaller branch route, to go my most frequent destination only 3.5 miles away would take nearly and hour and a half and about 15 miles of travel because I'd have to go downtown to transfer to a different bus route and then come back in almost the same compass direction as I came from. It is slightly faster than walking the distance through deep snow, but not much. So this season I have to use my "economy" car, which isn't cheap either.

Ben Connor Barrie

Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 5:51 p.m.

At the risk of sounding insensitive, commuting a great distance in single occupancy vehicles is not sustainable in the long run. Unfortunately, we have built lifestyles that are dependent on artificially low gas prices*. Petroleum is scarce. We will not run out in the near future, but we can expect price to increase more or less steadily over our lifetimes. This means that the cost of commuting not using public transportation is going to go up. Subsidizing gas more, or taxing it less will only deprive our cash-strapped governments of revenue, while encouraging people to maintain their unsustainable lifestyles longer. We might as well get it over with. * by artificially low I mean that the petroleum industry benefits from government subsidies, gas prices don't take into account the negative externalities.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 5:08 p.m.

There are two ways to fight against price increases. One, the obvious one, is to drive less. The other, potentially inconvenient, is never to fill the gas tank. Buy only the amount you need until the next time. Instead of carrying around a full tank which, by the way, reduces your mileage, carry only a small amount and let the rest remain in the deposits of the gasoline stations. If the stations don't sell their gas, they will order less and the companies will find themselves with millions of gallons in their tanks. This reduces their profits and may have an effect on prices.


Mon, Feb 14, 2011 : 2:24 a.m.

I'm sorry, the only ways to reduce the amount of fuel that you use is to either drive less, get a more efficient vehicle, or to learn to drive more efficiently (only very modest improvements are possible with the last). Never filling the tank is not going to make you use less, unless you are running out of fuel in the middle of a trip and have to walk the rest of the way there (not recommended). I think the woman from Jackson in the article who made a practice of that is probably only succeeding in giving herself some mental delusion that gives her a false sense of relief because somehow many small bills somehow feel less than one large bill, even if they add up to the same expenditure. If she's really struggling to pay for fuel, its probably time to trade in the fossil fuel hog for an economy car, and she should do it before the prices for fuel go above 4$/gallon, at which point economy cars will be impossible to find again, judging by the last time that happened and everyone decided it was time to trade in the Hummer at once. Seems folks don't learn well...

John B.

Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 6:05 p.m.

But if I fill my vehicle's tank, then wait until it's very low to refill it, I accomplish about the same result that you do, and waste much less time (and fuel) driving to, and spending time at, the gas station. I can't / don't wish to waste as much time as you suggest at the local gas station, I'm afraid....


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 4:43 p.m.

Cash Nice thought, but incredibly ignorant. Oil companies do not, never have, never will, set the price on oil. So there. The commodities market controls the price of oil, and just about any other commodity, whether it's wheat, pig's ears, vegetable oil, or whatever. The producers put their products up for sale, and the commodity markets take over and set the price.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 6:07 p.m.

sbbuilder, In civil discourse it should be possible for any adult to make their case without ever insulting another person in the process. And as oil corps make all the big profits they can afford to be taxed to pay back the cost of the great oil war. That's my opinion. We differ in opinions. That can be said without saying anyone else is expressing ignorant thoughts.

John B.

Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 5:27 p.m.

Technically true, but irrelevant. If the US refiners control the supply of gasoline / diesel fuel that gets to the retail market (i.e. limit how much they refine, which they absolutely do), and the demand is the same, the price goes up. Big US Oil is an oligopoly. If there were truly a free market in the US fossil fuel refining and wholesaling business, then the pricing would likely be much less volatile, and merely follow the actual costs of production (which do vary), but there isn't a free market for gasoline and diesel in this country.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 5:12 p.m.

Thank you Winthorp!

Nancy Shore

Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 3:20 p.m.

The article neglected to mention that if you work in downtown Ann Arbor, there is something else you can do about gas prices. You can contact the getDowntown Program: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> or We offer many services for downtown Ann Arbor employees to save money on gas, including offering a transit pass so you can take the bus to work (or park at a Park &amp; Ride lot), assistance with finding a carpool, and lots of other support. Many people find that choosing to use another form of transportation even one time a week can help cut down on commuting costs.


Mon, Feb 14, 2011 : 3:17 a.m.

When I visit in AA I take the bus, walk, and bike, which does work though it takes lots longer and the bus has limited hours. But AATA doesn't have many workable options for folks living far outside AA - yes there are Park &amp; ride lots, but once you are in your car, why stop before your destination to save the shortest part of your mileage and double the time it takes to get there? I think AA needs to look at being one of the trial cities for the Smart Jitney concept, <a href="," rel='nofollow'>,</a> in which drivers of private vehicles can lessen the cost of their commutes by joining a rideshare program that uses the internet, GPS equipment, and cell phones to match potential paying riders along their route with them real-time. Such systems are already working well in Europe, and the first prototype systems are now being rolled out in the states. Internet feedback loops similar to those on e-commerce sites quickly weed out even discourteous riders and drivers, so its quite safe to take a ride from a stranger registered in the program. I'd use it every day were it available here, whether I wanted to drive or ride.

Raymond De Young

Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 3:12 p.m.

I don't believe that two of the quotes from the AAA Michigan spokesperson are correct. The first was: &quot;Though the U.S. does not get much oil from Egypt, much of the world's oil must travel through its Suez Canal, she explained.&quot; At <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> I found that only about 5% of world oil passes through the canal. (&quot;In a typical day about 1.8 mbd of oil passes through the Canal, which is about 5% of the global oil tanker trade. &quot;) Then there's the quote that &quot;Though the U.S. does not get much oil from Egypt...&quot; In fact, no one gets oil from Eqypt except its citizens. The country changed from being an oil exporting nation to an oil importing nation recently (<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>. Apparently, this has happened (and is continuing to happen) to oil exporting nations as their economy grows (e.g., their domestic consumption increases, their middle class grows). One way this is being modeled is through what is called the &quot;Export-Land Model.&quot; (<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 3:03 p.m.

I find it interesting that unrest in Egypt is cited for rising gas prices...the Suez canal isn't used for oil/gas transport - and even if it was, USA has tanker precedent. It's just another round of BS from oil companies gouging the public. Prices will continue to rise until Washington makes a weak threat to &quot;investigate&quot; and the prices will drop. In the meantime, record profits.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 2:57 p.m.

The best thing that can happen to this country is gas prices skyrocket. Not until it is unfeasible economically to continue to ship products into country will our economy stabilize. Higher oil prices mean it'll cost Walmart more money to ship their products from China. They will then be forced to get products made by Americans in America into their stores.

Bertha Venation

Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 2:33 p.m.

Right on, Eyeheart! I always check <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>. Also, if you have a Meijers credit card, you can get 5 cents off a gallon of the advertised price. It may not seem like much, but honey, it adds up when gassing up my hemi hover-round.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 6:56 p.m.

I guess my point was that you were not paying for it, since the cost of your items is set by the market and not the advertising cost of the store and that ultimately, you only pay for what you chose to pay for. Sorry that wasn't clear. I wasn't implying you were a spendthrift.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 6:48 p.m.

Eye Heart, I know how to shop, but thanks for your suggestions. I've been a very savvy shopper for 50 years. As you can see, I was asking Super Freckle what they thought about using their gas points from Kroger as they mentioned it initially.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 6:41 p.m.

Where do you go that is lower than Kroger? @cash - One of the fundamentals of economics is that the store doesn't set the price, the market does. You will pay the same for your groceries whether or not they give you a rebate. Get what is on sale, wait for the specials and stock up. Get store brands. You can save a lot of money on food if you put even a tiny bit of effort into it.

John B.

Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 6:21 p.m.

Kroger is so over-priced that I stopped going there over a decade ago....


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 6:10 p.m.

SuperFreckleFace, (Love that name) The Kroger deal concerns me because somehow we are paying for that gas....are we paying that much more for our groceries? Not sure. What do you think?


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 2:55 p.m.

I fill up at the new Kroger gas station, with my gas points from shopping at Kroger (it varies) I get 45 cents, 25 cents or 15 cents off per gallon at a fill up.

Top Cat

Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 2:32 p.m.

We can &quot;round up the usual suspects&quot; on this issue and it won't accomplish a thing. The bottom line is that oil prices are going higher and gasoline is going right along with it. We should hit $4 a gallon gas this summer. Our country is blessed with an abundance of coal and natural gas and we need to figure out the best way to use it to power our vehicles.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 2:15 p.m.

The best way to cut the cost of your gas is to buy it where it is cheaper. On days when it is $3.25 in AA, it is barely over $3.00 all over the Detroit Metro area. See <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Brandy could have saved 0.10/gal just getting it on the way home at Pilot. My opinion is that you ALWAYS go to the cheapest place (assuming it is sort of on the way), as that will put pressure on the other gas stations to cut their price. Some of this is self inflicted. If you aren't buying gas as cheaply as you can, you don't have much room to complain.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 1:59 p.m.

Drill Baby Drill. The only way to slow the rise in gas prices is to increase supply. A &quot;thank you tax&quot; or more regulation of oil companies will only increase the price. Oil is the most energy dense, portable substance we have. It is abundant in many areas like Alaska, the gulf of Mexico and the west coast. Increasing oil production would result in jobs and tax revenue. Both are sorely needed.

Atticus F.

Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 6:25 p.m.

Cash, I agree about taxing the oil companies on extra profit... But there also needs to be some emphasis on using our own oil supplies until we come up with alternatives. This theory that we need to live our lives in misery without A/C, give up our family vacation to Florida, move into an econobox and stand at the bus stop in sub-zero temps, is nothing more than an attempt to take away the quality of life in America. I also think it's a deeply rooted desire to force a city lifestyle on people who live in rural communities, and to make people MORE dependant on the services of others (as is the case in most cities)... How many people do you know in NY City who grow their own veggies, fix their own cars, Do their own home repairs, ect.?


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 2:43 p.m.

Nope, you 1. tax oil corps for every dollar of increased profit made on the backs of taxpayers who freed up their oil fields....and keep it up. 2. Reduce use by doing what we have put off for decades and building dependable mass transportation. When it comes to transporting our citizens, we are a third world country. There's only so much oil. Reducing use is the only answer.

Jon Saalberg

Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 1:38 p.m.

Judging by the number of large SUVs and assorted kin I see around Ann Arbor, it doesn't appear a lot of people got the message a few years ago when gas topped $4/gallon. Petroleum is a limited supply resource, and it will only become pricier as Chinese consumers snap up millions of vehicles and start driving profligately the way many Americans drive. It's easy to place some of the blame for this issue on Bush - his administration's lack of concern for alternative energy source development, and their poor relations with other countries, particularly in the Middle East, have certainly hindered the U.S.'s ability to endure another surge in fuel prices.

5c0++ H4d13y

Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 1:37 p.m.

Please do an article next time gas prices go down.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 1:29 p.m.

I think it is amusing that whenever oil companies decide to turn up profit margins, we, the general consumer, have heart attack! As if we didn't expect them to do this... please!!! Folks, they're out to make profits and don't care about you, the environment, or 'giving back'. Get used to it or help fight our reliance on oil.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 1:28 p.m.

We should consider increasing both State and Federal taxes to $1 each in one year. During that time, we could ramp up public transportation so those who do commute can do so more easily that they can now via buses and rail. This might not help reduce the deficit becuase of sales reductions, but it will reduce our consumption.

John B.

Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 5:54 p.m.

I agree about increasing the taxes on fossil fuels (gasoline should have been slowly taxed to $5 per gallon long ago, when times were good), but even if we use those new tax funds, it will take decades to build good National mass-transit systems. As I (indirectly) stated elsewhere in this thread, the Europeans are way ahead of us in this regard, since they enacted ever-higher fuel taxes in response to the first oil embargo of the 1970s, and spent that new income wisely. Meanwhile, we did essentially nothing for the past 38 years, so now we are three-plus decades behind.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 12:56 p.m.

Time to create a &quot;thank you tax&quot; for major oil corporations to repay some of the deficit created from fighting a war to free up their corporate oil fields. Last year profits for one oil corporation increased 148% while our deficit grew. If they won't lower the price to the consumer, then let them repay us for our cost in freeing up their oil fields.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 5:28 p.m.

Which is a recipe for a perpetually increasing gas tax. You keep taxing their profits, they keep raising their prices, people keep paying more and more for gas. Come on, think it through. The industry sees how the game's being played, and move their profits off-shore, while also cutting back their exploration. If you don't like their profits, buy your gas from someone else. Maybe you can find a Citgo station and send the profits to Hugo Chavez instead?


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 2:39 p.m.

Well sure, KJMClark....that's why the tax increases for every dollar of increased profit until they repay us for our financial loss. Of course nothing pays for the loss of our loved ones.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 2:12 p.m.

You *do* realize that they will just increase prices to cover the tax.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 12:51 p.m.

Brandy probably needs the Ford Windstar to haul her familly around but if she is willing to get a nice small used car she could almost double her highway fuel economy. Karena Huff blaming the oil companies is just ridiculous. No one complained when gas was 2 bucks a gallon a couple years ago. Our national energy policies are a joke. We should be drilling for more oil in Alaska and elsewhere. Gasoline at 3.25 is cheap and a bargain. Look at Europe where gas is 5 to 7 bucks a gallon. It will still be a bargain when it reaches 4 bucks a gallon. I got rid of my two SUV's two years ago and cut my fuel costs by 50%.

Atticus F.

Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 6:12 p.m.

Also John B, I did a little digging, and minimum wage is about $13/hr in Spain, and $12/hr in england. Thats compared to our minimum wage of about $7/hr. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Atticus F.

Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 6 p.m.

John B., I was refering to countries in western Europe. Not the eastern block, which is what you seem to be refering to. You should also note that alot of what they pay is in the form of taxes. Which gets recirculated back into their economies.

John B.

Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 5:39 p.m.

@Atticus: People in Europe tend to make *less* per capita than we do. Just about the whole world does (except for some Gulf oil States, perhaps, and a few other exceptions), as far as I know. They've been paying high prices for fossil fuels in Europe since right after the very first oil embargo in the 1970s. This is due to their much higher fuel taxes that were put in place at that time, which were the correct response to that embargo, and have paid multiple dividends to their societies since.

Atticus F.

Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 2:36 p.m.

You should also note that &quot;cheap&quot; relates to the amount of money spent in relation to how much one makes. Last I checked, gas prices have grown alot faster than my pay check. Also people in europe tend to make more per capita. While they also don't have the wide open spaces and huge rural areas that the U.S. does.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 1:18 p.m.

Yes, Europe. Europe where the governments have provided for transport of their citizens by building mass transit for all.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 12:38 p.m.

The prices have very little to do with the value of the dollar. Look up the 'US dollar index' - the dollar was lower back in October/November of last year than it is now, and gas prices were lower then, not higher. Mr. Griffin was right on; it's about supply and demand, and expectations of future supply and demand (aka speculation). US Vehicle miles traveled has been increasing since early '09. Chinese VMT never dropped - it's been continuously rising. So demand in the largest consumer and second largest consumer nations is rising. (If you don't see a lot of extra traffic around here, it's because not all of the states are still in a depression.) Mr. Brix points out the supply side of the story. There hasn't been any increase in supply, and there isn't likely to be any time soon, if ever again. Most of the supply increases in the past few years have been from converting food to fuel, which is wreaking havoc on food prices, and slow increases in tar sand oil production. Meanwhile, old-fashioned liquid oil exports have been steadily dropping. Do yourself a favor and just expect prices to stay high and keep rising. Ms. Cain got a few things right, but she left off the most important things people can do - drive less and get a higher mpg car.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 2:21 p.m.

Yup, you're right, she did say that, thanks. There is a commitment to alternatives, that's why we're turning food into fuel and helping to raise food prices in the third world. I don't think they appreciate that. We're also ripping up the Canadian north to dig for tar sand. The solution to the big problem is public transit, living closer to work, buying things online. AKA driving a ***lot*** less. Ms. Ekins needs either a much smaller car or a shorter commute.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 1:21 p.m.

Cain DID say drive less. She also said to drive more slowly, which, in 70mph Michigan, is something people rarely think about. But these are very small solutions to a very big problem--one that will only be solved with a commitment to alternative energy sources.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 12:37 p.m.

Perhaps the oil companies are getting rich but so is the government with over $1 in taxes per gallon. Just wait until Obama pushes his high speed rail pipe dream and funds it off ever increasing taxes on gas.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 12:46 p.m.

Did you even read the article? The breakdown in the article shows 18.4 cents a gallon federal tax, and a grand total of 55 cents/gal. That's hardly 'over $1'.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 12:03 p.m.

Oil companies use any excuse possible to raise prices. Economic recovery is't possible as long we can't control these costs. The US needs to get off our oil addiction quick.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 11:58 a.m.

&quot;I have two kids, so we've had to cut down on going to McDonald's or pizza nights,&quot;... In the grand scheme of things, that's probably a sacrifice that will pay benefits to your children and your family down the road.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 6:04 p.m.

of course people take things I was interviewed about out of context..... THIS ARTICLE is about how COMMUNTERS (people living outside of A2) are feeling the pinch about rising gas prices, not LOCALS!!! I am a single Mom and that special trip to McDonald's or getting a pizza is a treat for my kids and having to cut back on that treat so I can make it to work sucks. By the way, a 100 mile round trip on a bicycle to work each day for me, really?!?


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 1:26 p.m.

You must be pretty badly off considering McD's and Pizza rate as junk food and ultimately will cost you far more in medical bills. Now, if possible, bicycle to work.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 12:49 p.m.

Yeah seriously. Combat Americas obesity epidemic through higher gas taxes! (double or tripple win!)

dading dont delete me bro

Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 11:42 a.m.

just waiting to hear how this one gets blamed on george w... first!

John B.

Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 6:11 p.m.

What does George Washington have to do with this topic, anyways? (Although he does drive a Hemi in that Challenger commercial... Hmm...).

John B.

Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 5:43 p.m.

I would tend to blame it more on folks that drive around in Hemi-equipped SUVs. ;-)