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I guess I'm spoiled. My wife and I own three cars, one each for the parents and another for our daughter. Yet gas prices don't phase us or cause problems, even as the price per gallon starts to rise in the spring. Missouri in general has low gas prices for a few reasons. First is that our state taxes are the fifth-cheapest in the United States, according to the Tax Foundation. Missouri's portion of gasoline taxes comes to 18.8 cents per gallon. By comparison, New York's gas taxes are tops in the country at 49 cents.
In fact, we love high gas prices because we have three fuel efficient cars.
The larger picture of high gas prices means American consumers will eventually be able to afford cars that are both cheaper and more fuel efficient. I was always aghast that the United States didn't learn its lesson from the Arab Oil Embargo in 1973. Gas prices were high for four months and gas supplies were low, all because of an international incident.
Rising gas prices will mean better security for our nation in the future. I realize there are environmental impacts of more drilling, fracking, huge pipelines and a larger oil infrastructure. Yet Americans should stop becoming dependent upon foreign sources of oil. The United States already uses the most gasoline on the planet due to lots of cars and huge networks of roads.
Missouri's gas prices, as compared to other states, are relatively low in the first place. The Show-Me State ranks 10th in the nation in gas prices right now at around $3.47 per gallon. In the Branson area where I live, prices are even lower at $3.39 per gallon at many stations.
Even though prices have risen from around $3.10 in Branson over the past month, gas is still cheap compared to the $4.25 being paid in California or the $3.91 in New York. That makes me love gas prices even more.
People in the Midwest are more down-to-earth and realistic. Having lived in Missouri my entire life, I can't imagine dealing with high prices in New York or California. Lifestyles seem to be more fast-paced and more materialistic on either coast.
My point is that Americans have a right to be upset about gas prices. There are several options including getting more fuel efficient cars, asking Congress to reduce our supply of foreign oil and even using public transportation. In my case, I simply refuse to live in a place that doesn't make sense. Missouri is the perfect place to raise a family in many ways. Relatively low gas prices are one part of the cost of living formula I love in this part of the country.
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