For me, the issue of skyrocketing gasoline prices came into focus about four years ago, when the national average that Americans paid at the pump reached an all-time high of $4.11 a gallon. Today, the average — up 30 cents in the last four weeks, and 13 cents in the last week alone — is about $3.70.
In the summer of 2008, I pulled up next to a gas pump off a major highway in Southern California where — apparently, a few minutes earlier — a recreational vehicle, which held more than 100 gallons, had stopped to fill up. The price was still on the screen: $500.
Can you imagine paying $500 to put gas in your vehicle? For many of us, that’s more like a monthly car payment. But for those who live in Southern California — where the car is king, public transit is spotty and the carpool lane is almost always underused — even a tab that size hardly raises an eyebrow.