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Have lower gas prices affected your travel habits?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on September 28, 2006

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Photo of Amy Bing

“I travel a lot with the KU Water Ski Team. We would be traveling anyway, but it makes it a lot easier on us. It’s also easier to practice because we have to pay for boat gas, too.”

Photo of Travis Miller

“Not really, but I’m certainly happy to see that it’s under $2.”

Photo of Michele Longhurst

“No, they haven’t. I live and work downtown, and I have a very economical car, so it doesn’t affect me that much.”

Photo of Alec Hansen

“No. I have a scooter and it gets about 100 miles to the gallon. I only spend maybe $10 a month on gas anyway.”


jonas 10 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

jayhawktownie 10 years, 9 months ago

it hasn't changed my travel habits.

this decline is simply the oil industry's way of ensuring an oil-friendly congress for at least 2 more years.

this is probably an even more effective campaign strategy than gay-bashing.

trinity 10 years, 9 months ago

nope, even with lower fuel prices-i still seem to be broke all the time&can't afford to go anywhere! :(

po'lil' ol' me! ;)

Nikki May 10 years, 9 months ago

I didn't know there was a KU water ski team.

bmwjhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Where can I watch the KU waterski team ski? I'm intrigued.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 9 months ago

Wait, low oil prices are gay-bashing?

Blue, that was an impressive way to add "you twit" without being deleted.

Chicago_JHawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Fuel should be priced at $5 per gallon, forcing people to find ways to use less fuel (smaller cars, fewer unnecessary trips). The extra revenue could be split three ways - alternative fuel research, education, and transportation infrastructure improvements, including public transportation funding.

Chicago_JHawk 10 years, 9 months ago

I should explain that I don't watch my own driving or adjust my habits when prices rise (I live in Chicago and admittedly don't drive much, but even with gas at $3.69 a gallon a few weeks back, I didn't reduce it any more). Also, I don't really care about the environment, but rather our dependence on foreign oil (we import 12M barrels a day) that seems to lead to conflict. It'd be nice to be able to live primarily on our OWN sources of energy and tell the rest of the world to shut it. That's why I think we should arbitrarily set gas prices at a high rate, to FORCE people to do something about it.

My disdain is for folks who complain about paying $3 for gas while buying a 12 oz bottle of water for $1.25. Where's the logic in that?

ruette 10 years, 9 months ago

The best thing for our country would be to double or triple the gas prices and use the profits to find and develop alternative energy sources. Inexpensive oil prices only encourage the irresponsible squandering of this limited resource. How about looking at the long-term effects, folks, instead of immediate gratification?

sunflower_sue 10 years, 9 months ago

RI, just does one find a site like

Bone777 10 years, 9 months ago

Wow!! This was early. No. They are still way too high and with the volatility of the market, I followed through with my plan to stay close to home and blog.

KS 10 years, 9 months ago

Anyone using gas, regardless of how much (scooter or car) has to be pleased with such a reduction. I drive a lot and it makes a big difference to me.

armyguy 10 years, 9 months ago

They will go back up in early Nov. just after the elections.

Linda Aikins 10 years, 9 months ago

The gas drop has saved me about $100 a month for my commute. I wish I could make close to the same wages in Lawrence. Even with the overhead, it's more profitable to drive to KC. And I agree - they will most likely climb rapidly in time for Thanksgiving.

Harley, maybe we see each other every day! I go on the turnpike.

KU ski team! I hope they don't practice on the Kaw. eww

sunflower_sue 10 years, 9 months ago

Nope. I still buy the ethanol where I see it posted. Problem is, the govt hasn't decided to make it mandatory to post the fact that the pump might contain ethanol. For some odd reason, it seems as though they don't want us to be able to choose. Oddly, too, that the price of my ethanol (that used to be cheaper than the reg) has now gone higher since the whole oil crunch thing. You'd almost think they didn't want me to buy it. Why would that be? I still fill up in Tongie where they post 10% ethanol and the hubby still fills up w/ 20% biodiesel (wherever it is that he gets that). Our travel habits have not changed.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 9 months ago

Sue, ethanol is actually less efficient than standard fuel. So it'll make you feel better, but it won't last as long. This is the down side to GM's big push for flex-fuel vehicles.

Ceallach 10 years, 9 months ago

sue: did you forget about . . don't ask . . don't tell?

My travel habits like so many of my habits (good or bad:) never seem to change. When prices rise I may grumble and groan as I fill up the tank, but that's about the only change.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 9 months ago

Ceal, since I'm prone to "word vomit," "don't ask" is seldom my approach.

beatrice 10 years, 9 months ago

I personally equate automobile use with dancing with the devil. He is a major jerk, but the guy can cut a mean tango.

Honestly, the lower prices haven't changed my driving habits at all -- I still drive where and when I need to at a comfortable, steady pace. I stopped speeding and driving agressively a long time ago (stopped listening to news on the radio since it is consistanly bad and now only listen to music when driving) and my vehicle gets pretty good gas mileage. Whether it is $75 or $50 a month, neither will break the bank, although of course I prefer to pay less.

mom_of_three 10 years, 9 months ago

I am glad the prices went down, as the hubby commutes to KC every day. I wish the prices had dropped in the summer, before my vacation, but then, that wouldn't have made the big companies any money.
For those who wish the prices would have stayed higher to support different causes etc., it would put too much of a strain on a majority of American's wallets. I would really feel for those who work at minimum wage, or just higher than. Heck, I even wonder where we came up with the extra gas money.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 9 months ago

RI, so is that what's really in those "Evian" bottles I always see in your hand? It's all becomming so clear. So Ever-Clear!

sgtwolverine 10 years, 9 months ago

Sue, not to say is an inaccurate site, but:

"ACE is a national, non-profit organization of more than 1200 members in 45 states, including ethanol producers, farmers, investors, commodity organizations, businesses supplying goods and services to the industry, rural electric cooperatives, and others supportive of the increased production and use of ethanol across America."

The ACE supplying information on ethanol sounds like the tobacco industry supplying information on the health effects of tobacco. It's not necessarily wrong, but it's too easy to look biased.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 9 months ago

I should note that I am not against the idea of ethanol; I just don't think it's really that great as a fuel. Usable, but not great. It'll be a very hard sell until either ethanol prices are low enough or until ethanol-powered vehicles achieve good enough mileage ratings.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 9 months ago

I would like to advocate the return of Vanilla Coke. Not Black Cherry Vanilla Coke (a.k.a. Rebranded Dr. Pepper), but Vanilla Coke.

Sorry. That was off-topic.

crohan1978 10 years, 9 months ago

Did anyone read about the large oil field discovery in the Carribbean about a month ago by Chevron? Didn't you hear, they think there may be proof that oil is not a limited resource and the earth may be continuously reproducing it far below the earth's surface?

Ethanol is still very expensive, and now the tree huggers, which I'm sure there a plenty of in Lawrence, are already fighting the construction of ethanol plants. Will we ever win? C'mon people!

sunflower_sue 10 years, 9 months ago

TOB, your algebraic equation lacks proof.

sgt, yes, I understand that it looks biased, but if you read the second link I posted, they do put statistical data in there (not all of it is flattering) and you can form your own opinion. I'll agree that 10%E is not the BEST option (actually I like biodiesel better but my car just won't eat that), but it IS better for our environment and it does lead us down another path as a country that should be concerned about the use of fossil fuels, where we spend our money, and what our children breathe.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 9 months ago

sgt, I'm confused about your mileage ratings. I get about 30 more miles from a fill-up of 10%E than the reg. and my mail carrier swears he does much better than that (and he keeps log books). I've had others tell me similar stories (hearsay) so I'm just curious.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 9 months ago

Sue, I'm not referring to 10%E -- I'm referring to GM's big campaign with E85. That's the big push now.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 9 months ago

...typical efficiency of an E85 vehicle seems to be about 25% less than a standard fuel vehicle. I like the benefits of ethanol, but that's not a small difference.

staff04 10 years, 9 months ago

A source for information on ethanol that is as far from bias as you can probably find:

Ceallach 10 years, 9 months ago

The only negative I have noticed about using 10% is that my engine no longer makes music for my driving enjoyment (especially on an incline).

Chicago_JHawk 10 years, 9 months ago

The oil field discovered by Chevron in the Gulf of Mexico is said to contain 3-15 billion barrels of oil. Assuming it contains 15 billion, and could be tapped at a limitless rare, it would provide all the oil the US relies on...for 750 days.

Not much of a supply if you ask me.

Chicago_JHawk 10 years, 9 months ago "limitless rate", not "limited rare". Sorry.

OMB - I was not screaming bloody murder when fuel passed $3 a gallon.

Ceallach 10 years, 9 months ago

I will gladly vote for Vanilla Coke, sgt! I loved it. Another Coke gripe . . . the lime cokes are only available as diet. Aspertame is the devil, as related to migraines, so I have to pass.

For those of you who do not know . . . only Coke products are sold on campus. Although, many with a frig available to them smuggle in their Pepsi products. But if you need a caffeine fix mid-day it's coke or coke, whichever you prefer.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 9 months ago

Ceal, how much of a kickback does KU get for only selling Coke products? Maybe if we only sold Coke at gas stations, it would get us to less than $2/gallon...not far to go. (You could still smuggle your Pepsi through the pumps...just don't get caught w/ an open container!):)

jonas 10 years, 9 months ago

What in the world did I say that was worthy of deletion? It was something about being migratory animals, and having the urge to go south.

Hmmmm. . . . go south.

Get your mind out of the gutter, LJWorld staff!!!!!!

sgtwolverine 10 years, 9 months ago

Glad to have an ally on the Vanilla Coke issue, ceal. But only diet lime Coke? I am perplexed. Just this past weekend I went to the grocery store and bought a 12 pack of regular lime Coke.

bunnyhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

are my tax dollars supporting a WATER SKI team??????

bucks1 10 years, 9 months ago

no they are not bunny...they pay dues and receive money from KU recreation services

sunflower_sue 10 years, 9 months ago

TOB, you lazy man! You should have read it all. It sounds positive for cellulose based ethanol. I'm intrigued. :)

crohan1978 10 years, 9 months ago

Chicago Jhawk, that is not what Chevron stated, they stated that they believe their may be evidence that the earth is constantly producing oil, specifically in the location they found. That oil supply would increase the US supply by 50% they said.

Ethanol does not get good gas mileage at all, and the only reason it is being pushed is because it runs cleaner than regular fuel. If we're paying more for a fuel that is less efficient, but cleaner, are we really gaining anything? Seriously. I think it would be better served to develop technology, i.e. hybrid cars, that get much better efficiency than relying on a fuel such as ethanol

sgtwolverine 10 years, 9 months ago

Hybrids are, at best, transitional technology. They're fossil-fuel engines with a supplementary electric engine. They are not the future. Repeat after me: they are not the future.

Now, if you paired ethanol fuel with the hybrid system...

Seriously, diesel vehicles are capable of getting superb gas mileage. For fossil fuels, let's go with the existing proven technology (high-efficiency diesel engines) and work toward something not based on fossil fuels.

Also, if we continue to generate electricity with fossil fuels, then the car thing is just a small solution.

davisnin 10 years, 9 months ago

Ethanol would at least be something that could assist in getting the US off of foreign oil. Flex fuel is an easy conversion, it's really just about the seals, yet unless they are forced the manufacturers won't do it. The Ford Focus has an available FF engine, but is only offered in CA and MA where it is required by law.
Instead of raising prices to 5 or 10 dollars, an amount that would instantly break the lower class, they should implement HUGE luxury and gas-guzzler taxes. The people who buy the huge cars, for the most part, aren't affected by the increased price at the pump. Hybrids aren't much of an answer, with their limited life and energy expenditures to make those batteries.
Solar-derived hydrogen really seems like the best option. If Lawrence really wanted to be as progressive as it acts it would require all new home construction to have at least 50% of roofing square footage in solar shingles. 100% in any new commercial construction. Also The City of West Lawrence should be turned into a wind farm.,16417,1205726,00.html

Ceallach 10 years, 9 months ago

sgt, I did not make my gripe clear enough, the only lime coke offered in our vending machines is diet. I park close enough it's pure laziness that I don't smuggle in my own supply. I am always trying to give up my caffeine runs, but alas, one more bad habit that hasn't changed:)

sue, don't even get me started on my "our campus has been prostituted" rant.

Ceallach 10 years, 9 months ago

Lonely guy must have retired. I thought sure Ms. Amy would bring him back!

sgtwolverine 10 years, 9 months ago

R_I, I guess you forgot to refrain at least once before...

Ceal, that is one poorly-stocked vending machine. Diet Coke is cruel and unusual.

Although here at U of Michigan, for a while they weren't stocking any Coke anywhere. Some students got all mad about Coke's dealings in other countries or something, and they made enough noise that the U cut off its Coke purchases until the issue was resolved to their satisfaction. Fortunately, the Coke is back.

avoice 10 years, 9 months ago

The problem lies with the question. LJW seems to assume that we all whine about gas prices because it's curtailing our trips cross-country in the fam van. Far from the reality we live when gas prices are so high. How about asking whether we're better able to afford to make that daily commute to our low-paying jobs? Or do we think maybe grocery store and Wally World prices will come down to any degree, having gone up so tremendously in the past year or so? All due to skyrocketing gas prices. The price of gas, to the average American Joe, isn't about driving around aimlessly. We quit doing that a couple generations ago. It's about survival today. Get real.

Ceallach 10 years, 9 months ago

sgt, big difference. Apparently Coke is U of Mich's vendor. Here, Coke is KU's "daddy."

Chicago_JHawk 10 years, 9 months ago

crohan - I hadn't read an article that stated anything about the earth creating additional oil - I saw one that simply stated what's available now. I would certainly hope that Chevron wasn't getting excited about 1.5 years worth of crude!

purplereign - Your spelling is cute.

acg 10 years, 9 months ago

I was thinking the same thing, blueharley. LOL. We're not all KU people purplereign, but most of us can spell basic words like rich, petty, worry and people. Maybe you should head back to Manhattan and demand your money back.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 9 months ago

sgt, I can teach you how to make your own biodiesel. 'Course it does you no good unless you actually have a diesel engine to fill. With all that glycerin you'll be producing as a byproduct, you can sell it to Pleather Bob for use in his...well, whatever he does while in pleather mode. ;)

killjoy 10 years, 9 months ago


PF Flyers were fast, but Red Ball Jets were springity sprongity.

Tychoman 10 years, 9 months ago

Change your name to creepylonelyguy.

No it hasn't affected my travel habits, and no I didn't complain when gas prices climbed because until they reach $5 a gallon (this time next year, I predict) we're not even close to Europe, developed as a society as independent and wanting our own cars, so we have no room to complain. I'm more concerned about electricity and energy, not what runs my car.

beatrice 10 years, 9 months ago

pr: "its funny how ku people act so ritch but complain about pety things like gas prices... k-staters don't seem to worrie about silly things the way you peeple do"

So I guess there is an advantage to still getting about on horse and buggy -- no worries about gas prices.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 9 months ago

No, the gas prices haven't changed my driving habits. I still go where I need to, and not much of anywhere else. But it's nice to be able to do that cheaper.

They dropped pretty fast for awhile, and now they seem stuck right above $2 a gallon here. Are they afraid of what will happen if it drops below $2 again?

I've got an old car, a 1989, and I don't even know if 10% ethanol would work in it, which is why I haven't tried it. They're not too clear on what cars can run on it properly. And it costs more than regular. Besides, if I ever used a gasoline that cleaned the carbon out of my engine, I'm afraid I'd suddenly develop 10,000 leaks. The carbon is probably the only thing holding my engine together!

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