Gas Me Up



The keystone pipeline was responsible for all American Oil, and it’s closure is a key factor in why gas and oil prices have increased. (Photo courtesy of Mother Jones)

Many promises were made by Joe Biden before and after the 2020 election. One promise he made was to create new economic opportunities for workers. This included new jobs for the unemployed and raising the minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour. While this promise looks good on paper, it was followed through differently. 

On January 21, 2021, the day after President Biden’s inauguration, he sent in an executive order to shut down the Keystone Pipeline. This executive order cut 11,000 jobs right there on the spot. Slowly, more jobs will continue to be shut down due to the pipeline closing. This pipeline was responsible for many jobs and influenced gas prices across the United States. 

“Gas is essential and the price should be lowered, not raised,” said senior Luke Mulcahy.

Now, gas prices are skyrocketing due to the keystone pipeline being shut down. Gas in Upstate South Carolina was raised by nearly 50 cents per gallon in just three weeks. In addition to this, gas is taxed by 20-30 cents per gallon as well. This is a total of 70-80 added cents per gallon for customers. Gas is currently essential for most people due to electric cars not being used as frequently as gas-consuming cars. Currently, the minimum wage is $7.25, and people need gas to get to work. 

“I think the increase of gas prices is going to negatively affect the common man, especially during a pandemic like this. Gas is already a struggle to handle for a lot of people, and in a time where unemployment is as low as it is, the extra money can have a big impact on lives,” said Junior Brendon Maness.

The working people are struggling. With minimum wage as low as it is and gas being as high as it is, an American worker earning minimum wage is at or below the poverty line. Adolescents are struggling as well. Most high school students and young adults are working for minimum wage and have to pay gas, make a car payment, pay for insurance, and maybe even more. This current Keystone Pipeline situation is not helping the common man whatsoever. 

“After Biden was elected, he promoted raising the minimum wage, and raising gas prices could be an inflation due to his statements,” said senior Corey Golec.

During and after the election, Biden stated that the minimum wage would be raised. The issue with gas price inflation is that the minimum wage has not yet been raised.. This puts all people in the United States in a tough position because they are being penalized by rising gas prices, while not  receiving the minimum wage increase. With the minimum wage increasing, all other wages must increase accordingly, making these gas inflation rates a hardship for all Americans. 

Overall, Americans are seeing an increase in gas but not the increase in salary. This issue is becoming predominant in citizens’ lives and needs to be addressed. The keystone pipeline is a major factor in why the prices have become so high and will continue to increase. 

“I think the increase in gas is due to the President’s desire to immediately fight ‘climate change’ I never heard him talk about shutting down the pipeline during his campaign, and I think it’s a little weird that he does this just days after he’s inaugurated while a global pandemic is going on,” added Maness.