Silver Chips Online

Prices may fall, but keep our awareness up

By Jenna Bushnell, Online Features and Humor Editor
December 27, 2008
First off, season's greetings!

With all of this holiday cheer and flakes of snow comes what seems like another blessing: low gas prices. Sure, maybe not the first thing you think of when you think of the excitement of winter break, but according to CNN, gas prices are at a five-year low at $1.65 per gallon and that is something to be thankful for.

And while these gas prices mean families can be together this holiday season for less money, it does bring one area of concern: the environment. Lower gas prices will very well mean less incentive for automotive and fuel companies (as well as our government) to create more eco-friendly automotive solutions. People are prone to think, "Now that gas is affordable, why would I want to see hundreds of millions of American tax dollars put into finding alternative fuels?"

That thought is precisely what is so scary. When gas prices were at almost $5 a gallon, Americans were up in arms about how to save money and thus the environment was in play. People were buying hybrids, investing in ethanol and alternative fuels, and were hard pressed to find cheap and environmentally sound ways of transportation. Low gas prices mean fewer people will need to use public transportation, or will be riding their bikes to work and thus more cars will be spewing carbon into the atmosphere.

With our hurting economy, it is no wonder why people are rejoicing over $1.65 gas. That being said, the environment cannot be forgotten.

Now don't get me wrong - as a driver-to-be (if my parents will ever let me get my license), I intend to embrace the cheap gas prices. But this cheap gas should not stop anyone, including myself, from being eco-aware.

So as the new year comes closer, maybe we should all make it our resolution to make the environment our top priority.