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When High Gas Prices are Low Gas Prices

Posted Mar 21 2011 3:20pm

Gas_price In addition to death and taxes, it's a fair certainty that once gas prices go up, Americans will begin to complain. Due to an unstable world economy and political upheaval in oil-producing countries such as Libya , the current average price for a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. is $3.55, according to AAA 's daily statistics.

But as Sierra  has reported , even at this higher level, U.S. gas prices do not reflect their real ecological or social cost. This telling chart , compiled by the good folks at Good magazine, compares the average price of gas in the U.S. with 25 other nations. The U.S. price ranks firmly at the bottom — by more than $5 in some cases. This vast discrepancy is mostly due to oil lobbyists, subsidies, and Congress's reluctance to imperil an economy built on fossil fuels.

While timing your gas purchase appropriately may save you money in the short term, it's clear that paying $8.83 for a gallon of gas (as the Dutch do) doesn't constitute a sustainable future. You can get involved in promoting an alternative-energy future by joining the Sierra Club's Beyond Oil campaign .

--Rosie Spinks

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