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The rise of gas prices and the fall of student bank accounts

By Miles Bett, Columnist

Connecting with a large audience is not an easy thing to do. With a multitude of opinions, feelings and beliefs, gauging the general perspective is difficult at best.  One connection the majority of Hofstra students share is our wallets. Whether new or old, full or empty, we are all familiar with the weight in our pockets, purses or jackets. As students, we are deeply concerned with our finances in this economy.
With a large number of commuters and dormers finding jobs off campus, there is an uneasiness associated with the recent spike in gasoline prices.  According to Time.com, the national average is $3.58 per gallon, which is the highest price this year. This raises concern because February gas prices, similar to other prices during winter months, tend to be cheaper than prices in summer months. With reports circling that some states are already hitting four dollars per gallon, I find myself dreading the summer months after I graduate.
Republicans are using this as an excuse to attack President Obama on his supposedly poor energy policy management. Despite the fact that oil and gas production has increased during his administration and consumption has fallen since the economic downturn, many Republicans still believe his policies cause adverse effects. Newt Gingrich, for example, says he could lower gas prices to $2.50 per gallon. Pah.
The trouble with Iran, unrest in the Middle East and Iran's suspension of oil sales to France and the U.K. is more likely the cause of oil prices climbing ever skyward. These issues will become more important the closer we come to November, but as of right now, they are of little importance compared to my rapidly lightening wallet. There is little we can do to stave off this increase in gas price. All we can do is drive conservatively, no easy task on Long Island. With its endless lights, stop signs and maniacal drivers, fuel efficiency is of minimal importance. I, for example, suffer a nearly 10 mpg drop in efficiency when I come back to school with a supposed and fairly accurate 40 mpg car. When I see students driving SUVs and BMWs, I have to suppress a shudder. The increase in gas prices is simply another expense that students have to have deal with in this economy.

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