Blogs > Frye on the News

Keeping his eye on the news and offering commentaries and insights on what is happening in Oakland County, around the world, on the tube and in the news.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Gas prices rise

Let the drum beat begin.

It's almost right on schedule, though earlier, but the news cycle seems perfect for the latest round of gas price stories. We've had the election, then the fiscal cliff, then gun debate, and now gas prices.

In between, sure, there have been sensational gasps that dominated for a day or two or even a week: the crazed ex-LAPD officer, the South African double-amputee Olympian, the poop cruise, and the power outage at the Super Bowl.

I'm sure something will happen at the Oscars to take a day or two of our relentless coverage of the world.

But gas prices, rising toward $4-a-gallon very quickly, are something we all pay, more than just when we race to work or school, but also we pay when we shop, whether at bulky grocery stories, downtown merchants or online. Those products need to be moved and transported.

One dedicated follower of the gas prices is The Morning Sun in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, where a single company sells the gas to the stations. This was as big deal when gas prices jumped quickly from $1-a-gallon to $2-a-gallon. It's a story everyone has an opinion on and it's never a kind opinion. But unlike cigarettes, we can't quit buying gas.

I must confess, fuel economy has never been a high-ranking political, personal or financial concern. But with my new car, a Dodge Journey, I have an option of having the display set to gas mileage, and since I switched to that setting last week, I have seen my fuel economy increase from 15. 4 miles per gallon to 16.6 miles per gallon just by trying to stay as much as possible in the green zone, more coasting, less speeding. I've only gone a few miles on the interstate, so it is almost exclusively the same city driving, mostly to and from work with trips to children's dance or school or else to store in between.

I still try to get where I'm going as efficiently as possible, but it's like a game, trying to get the number to go higher. No need zipping to that red light. Seems like a little technology can go a long way.

Meanwhile, more interviews of people pumping the fuel into their cars with headlines like 'Pain at the Pump' leading the newscasts.

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