$4/gallon gas is cheap

“Gasoline is cheap”:http://www.slate.com/id/2191491/:

bq. When measured on an inflation-adjusted basis, the current price of gasoline is only slightly higher than it was in 1922. According to the Energy Information Administration, in 1922, gasoline cost the current-day equivalent of $3.11. Today, according to the EIA, gasoline is selling for about $3.77 per gallon, only about 20 percent more than 86 years ago.

bq. Gasoline is also a fairly minor expense when you consider the overall cost of car ownership. In 1975, gasoline made up 33.4 percent of the total cost of owning and operating a car. By 2006, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, gasoline costs had declined to just 17.1 percent of the total cost of car ownership. … the fixed costs of ownership-insurance, licensing, taxes, and financing-have increased nearly fivefold since 1975. Maintenance costs have also quintupled over the same time period.

bq. On the environmental front, people concerned about greenhouse-gas emissions should be cheering today’s oil prices. Expensive motor fuel is the only thing that will lead consumers to use less oil and make the switch to hybrid vehicles, smaller cars, and public transit. Higher oil prices are convincing automakers to change their fleets.

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