Gas Prices Soar, Drivers Don't Mind

By Matt Baume
|  Tuesday, Mar 1, 2011  |  Updated 12:00 PM PDT
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Gas Prices Soar, Drivers Don't Mind

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The bad news is that gas prices are going up. Or maybe it's not bad news at all, since most drivers don't seem to care.

Drivers seem to be responding to soaring gas prices with a shrug and by digging in their heels, according to the San Francsisco Examiner. Drivers are spending more time than ever behind the wheel, logging a 2.6% increase in fuel consumption even as prices went up by 6 percent.

Some analysts are predicting $4/gallon gas later this year, followed by $5/gallon in 2012. That's still far cheaper than gas in most other parts of the world.

Plenty of causes are contributing to the surge in prices. There's the eternal instability in the Middle East, for starters. And then there's the impending petroleum shortage.

Within the next few decades, the planet will simply run out, and we'll have to burn something else -- or get serious about renewables.

Though commuters haven't changed their driving habits yet, the prices are hitting businesses hard. Deliveries have become painfully expensive for haulers.

For some gas-guzzlers, the price of a full tank is so expensive that it surpasses their credit card's maximum threshold. Some cards limit customers to around $75 at gas stations in order to combat fraud. But if you have a huge tank, you could spend more than that to fill it up.

Economists predict that a heftier-than-usual tax cut will help consumers offset gas prices. That's music to the ears of forward-thinking commuters who've ditched their cars and can spend the money on something more worthwhile.

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