In just six days, from March 1-6, gasoline prices at Kwik Shop, 12th and Merchant St., rose from $3.49 to $3.53 per gallon.
For sophomore elementary education major Sarah Williams, it costs about $85-90 to fill up the tank of her three-quarter ton truck, which she does about twice a month.
“I can get by on one tank if I don’t go anywhere,” Williams said.
Williams uses her truck to hook a trailer onto the back for horse shows, which she attends almost every weekend during the summer, and the trips can get expensive, she said. If the cost of gas continues to increase, she said she will find a way to cut money other places, but not on horse shows.
“Horse shows are such an important part of my life,” Williams said. “I can’t imagine life without them.”
But while gas prices have both risen and fallen over time, Rob Catlett, economics professor, said gas prices have generally drifted upward.
“We’re not at the high we’ve seen in prices in Emporia before,” Catlett said. “(But) over the last 50 years, (gas prices) have risen, and they have risen dramatically.”
Catlett said the most recent rise is not due to a shortage of crude oil or refining capabilities, but to events occurring in the Middle East. There is a concern about Iran, a major oil producer’s, nuclear abilities.
“(The reason) the price of gasoline has been rising (is) based largely on expectations,” Catlett said, “not actually on supplies, but probability that something might happen.”
But Catlett, who was in Los Angeles last week, said he saw prices of $4.50 per gallon.
“People weren’t cutting back as much because walking in L.A. isn’t a very attractive option,” Catlett said. “Many people have to drive to work. They’re not going to give up jobs, so consumers are not especially sensitive to change in gas.”
Rising prices will cause students to conserve more gas, Catlett said, which includes things such as less leisure spending, riding bikes instead of driving or buying more fuel efficient cars.
“I can see myself buying a cheap car so I can spend money other ways,” Williams said.
Another issue college students run into is the ability to travel. Caleb Spears, sophomore communications major, said the growth prices will greatly affect the way students commute and their ability to go back home.
“What college student has money to put $5 gas in their car?” Williams said. “No college student can have money to put gas in their car to go home.”
For Spears, it only costs about $37 to fill up his 1986 Chevy Cavalier. He hasn’t experienced a hindrance with dealing with gas prices yet.
“I imagine (if prices continue to grow) I will have to create a completely new budget for myself,” Spears said.