If you’re an average American, your monthly gasoline bill is a humongous $368.09. That comes to nine percent of a household’s total income, more than double what it was just two years ago, according to a CNNMoney report. And as a percentage of income, the poor are getting hit the hardest.
In parts of the country where mass transit isn’t an option, driving is the only way to go. So while higher gasoline prices might not matter as much to someone living in New York City where subways are king, that’s not true in states like Mississippi, where you need a car to get around. CNNMoney explains:
While gas in the state is relatively cheap, Mississippians have some of the lowest incomes in the nation, with the median household earning $36,646 a year.
In addition, many drivers in Mississippi commute long distances and have older cars that lack fuel efficiency, said Rozell.
At an average price of $3.64 a gallon, households in Mississippi spent $434.52 on gas in April.
There are some who might use this fact to argue for rapid expansion of mass transit (which isn’t practicable in rural areas) or the adoption of fuel efficient vehicles (try telling a family of four with an unemployed breadwinner to go buy a new car.)
There’s a faster solution to help with the immediate pain: End the oil drilling moratorium, President Obama. Allow access to domestic reserves, roll back regulatory burdens on companies and issue offshore drilling permits. All of which would boost our domestic energy supply. As a Heritage Foundation report finds, that’s the answer to rising fuel costs and higher energy demand in the U.S.