Rising gas prices will not end commuting

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 8, 2004

Tribune editorial staff

The experts are predicting gasoline prices will rise to greater than $2 a gallon this summer.

Even if this theory holds true, not too many Americans - particularly those in Appalachia and other rural areas - are going to trade in vehicles for a bus ticket, as some of these experts warn. In this area, that would be virtually impossible.

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First of all, in Lawrence County's case, we have no bus system. Even if we did, many of us work in communities other than the ones in which we live. Paying taxi fares would be even more expensive than purchasing the expensive gasoline.

Taking the "Shoe Leather Express" is out of the question for most of us as it is too far to walk to work, the store, the doctor's office or other necessary destinations. The bottom line is we are going to have to bite the bullet and pay handsomely for our fuel and hope that the prices plummet soon.

We can, however, be more frugal on our consumption. Unnecessary trips, such as joy rides and scenic drives, can be eliminated.

Some motorists are even looking at downsizing their vehicles. Trading in a gas-guzzling sports utility vehicle for a more economic vehicle that gets better gas mileage may be a short-term solution for some of us.

As oil-producing nations cut production and we, as consumers, feel the pinch at the pump, it is common for us to look to politicians for the answers, but it seems elected leaders are only looking at solutions that focus on short-term strategies to cut prices.

These people whom we have elected to represent us need to make this issue a priority. They need to look at all options and find a solution that is in the best interest of Americans. This cannot be an issue divided by partisan camps.

The vast majority of the nation's people own at least one vehicle. This is something that affects nearly every one of us.

As clich\u00E9 as it may sound, we have to drive to survive.