Students rejoice at the pump as their hard-earned dollar goes farther than it has in years, with gas prices settling under $2, a feat that most of us haven’t seen since we started driving.
While the price drop seems like a blessing, and it is for those of us penny-pinching, it is also a curse. With lower gas prices, it seems that America’s desire for alternative fuel sources is decreasing.
According to November auto sales data, the top selling automobiles were pickup trucks and SUV’s, with demand rising 9.6 percent.
Although the average mpg has been increasing, giving less credibility to the name “gas guzzlers”, these cars are still producing more carbon dioxide emissions than their gas/hybrid counterparts, whose sales were down in the same month.
While gas prices tend to fluctuate, Bloomberg BusinessWeek writer Isaac Arnsdorf believes they will stay low due to our changing oil import practices.
He says that the demand of oil is the same as it was in 2009, when the consumer was buying less because of the recession. We are also importing far less oil than we used to, most of it coming from the refineries on the gulf coast, along with fracking in other rural areas.
These practices, while great for our wallets, are horrible for our environment. Without the motivation of saving money, the inspiration to find alternative energy is growing weaker.
Green energy, however, spans farther than filling up the tank, and those trends are independent of gas prices.
While crude oil is used mainly for transportation, home heating comes from coal, natural gas, and nuclear power, which are still being replaced with green technology, especially with wind turbines.
According to the financial times, electricity is no longer substantially run with oil, but instead with green energy, which could even compete with $30 a barrel crude oil.
No matter the gas prices, the influence of other alternative energy sources will continue to hold importance to the American people and their investors.
Global investments in clean energy, according to the financial times, have climbed from $60 billion in 2004 to about $251 billion in 2013, and have continually growing at a steady rate.
While prices at the pump may change through time, green energy does not only include oil, but also electricity and heating, where we are making huge strides to make green energy the norm.
So relax, the green energy agenda is still moving along just fine.