Students discuss Kent’s low gas prices

Courtesy+of+U.S+Energy+Information+Administration.

Courtesy of U.S Energy Information Administration.

Alex Johnson

Kent State students and local residents have enjoyed favorably low gasoline prices since the beginning of the year. As of January, prices at local gas stations appear to be staying around the $2.00 range.

Students such as Samantha Schaffer, a sophomore visual communications design major, are finding themselves in good spirits over the sudden level of affordability. Schaffer, who lives on campus and commutes from Pittsburgh from time to time, is very happy with the new costs. 

“Pennsylvania is one of the states with the highest gas prices, so it’s nice,” Schaffer said. “It takes me like $20 to fill my tank here, and twice that there. My dad told me to always fill my tank here, not there, because it’s so much cheaper.”

Dante Bonner, a junior digital media production major and Bedford Heights resident, commutes the 30-minute drive to campus. Bonner noted the substantial difference between gas prices there and in Kent. 

“Back home, they’re around $2.20 normally,” Bonner said. “Now, it’s funny just waking up and seeing gas below $2.00.” 

Ashton Coad, a junior geology major, keeps his car on campus for long trips back to his hometown. Coad said his hometown gas station is about 25 cents more than Kent’s prices.

“What was really nice was, about two or three weeks ago, it was in the $1.70 range,” Coad added about Kent.

Though student drivers are enjoying the low prices, many don’t know why they are so low. Curtis Lockwood Reynolds, a professor of economics at Kent State, associated lower gas prices to different gas production seasons.

“Something that a lot of people don’t know is that there are actually different kinds of gas produced at different times of the year,” Reynolds said. “You’ll find that gas normally becomes more expensive during the summertime.”

Reynolds said the U.S. is producing more of its own energy through natural gas and oil, so it is paying less money to other oil producing countries.

“It’s actually international factors that are the primary drivers of oil prices,” Reynolds said. “Gas is dependent on oil costs, so when the price of oil is low, gas is low.”

While the gas prices seem to be great now, seasonal changes along with the uncertainty of world events means that the low cost of gas will come to an end eventually.

“It won’t last forever, that’s for sure,” Reynolds said. “Right now, we’re producing way more energy than before. It’s all dependent on how long that lasts.”

Students appear to be enjoying the prices while they can. Bonner, for example, stays optimistic. 

“I’ll just be happy with what I’ve got until the prices go back up,” Bonner said.

Alex Johnson is the safety and transportation reporter. Contact him at [email protected]