John Corrigan: Fueling oil blame

Debating who is to blame for high gas prices is doing little to solve the problem at the pump. Freshman secondary education major Chad Edwards said he began to carpool from Bustleton to Main Campus

Debating who is to blame for high gas prices is doing little to solve the problem at the pump.

Freshman secondary education major Chad Edwards said he began to carpool from Bustleton to Main Campus because he “can’t afford to keep filling up [his] tank.”
John Corrigan

“I have missed classes and meetings because I didn’t have the gas or the cash in order to drive down to campus,” Edwards said. “Although I commute to save money on loans, I’m having problems saving money with what I have to spend on gas.”

As students like Edwards stress over Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed budget cuts amid struggling to survive in the merciless job market, the increasing gas prices are sucking their wallets dry. Students deserve a break from the flurry of financial attacks that have struck in recent months, but that break is unlikely.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average price of gas per gallon in the United States has jumped from $2.78 in January 2010 to $3.14 in January 2011. As for Philadelphia, the average price of gas per gallon has leaped from $2.74 in January 2010 to $3.15 in January 2011.

The cheapest price per gallon of gas in Philadelphia is $3.46, while $3.99 is the most expensive, at press time, according to

But why have gas prices risen to such unprecedented heights?

Well, it depends on who you ask.

Republicans blame President Barack Obama’s moratorium on deepwater drilling for the fuel epidemic.

After authorizing a six-month period of delaying approval for new drilling permits, Obama has been criticized by the Republican Party for decreasing domestic oil production, which caused the surge in gas prices.

Each party will always criticize a president affiliated with the opposite party, but Obama should be commended for acting cautious about drilling after the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf.

The Democratic Party has responded to the Republicans’ finger- pointing by claiming that foreign national leaders, such as Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi, are responsible for the pain at the pump.

Democrats have urged Congress to sanction clean energy solutions rather than give tax breaks to oil companies in order to display America’s independence from foreign oil.

According to a Philadelphia Inquirer article, by’s Eugene Kiley and D’Angelo Gore, the former Mobil Oil Executive and current Senior Energy Analyst at Oppenheimer & Co., Fadel Gheit, has blamed “refinery accidents, a strike in France, rising demand as the economy improves – and the Mideast unrest that has pushed oil prices past $100 a barrel,” as the roots of the problem.

While the political blame game continues, American citizens of all political affiliations are suffering under the financial burden.

Of course, the politicians will realize how detrimental this issue is once the economy suffers another setback.

Political leaders need to forego childish bantering and unite to discuss solutions to this national dilemma.

Because gas prices have handcuffed commuters to debt, students are forced to explore alternative transportation options.

“I used to drive to school probably four times a week, but now it’s once a week,” said freshman biology major Amanda O’Shea.

“The prices have really put a hole in my wallet,” O’Shea said, adding that she’s switched to taking the train to save some cash.

As for summer vacation travels, students should forget the shore and embrace the sprinkler.

Perhaps car insurance companies could reduce the high cost for drivers between the ages of 16 to 25 in a feeble attempt at keeping the road affordable for young drivers.

But even if you do have the good news that you just saved a bunch of money by switching to GEICO, when will the good news be cashed in at the pumps?

John Corrigan can be reached at

1 Comment

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