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Gas prices on the rise in Clemson

Katie Bradham, Photo Editor

Gas prices are on the rise around the country and Clemson students are feeling the pinch as well. University officials point to several alternative means of transportation for students considering ways to save money. 

There is no hiding the dramatic rise in gas prices in the United States. In South Carolina prices have increased 41 cents per gallon within the first week of March, making them the highest in the state since 2012. Students are beginning to recognize that they may need to reevaluate their method of transportation to and from campus.
Although the war in Europe is occurring thousands of miles from Clemson, the conflict in Ukraine has dire effects on American gas prices. To punish Russia for its actions against Ukraine, President Biden, along with U.S. ally countries, have imposed damaging sanctions on Russia’s economy.
On March 8, President Biden declared he plans to penalize Russia’s economy by banning imports of Russian oil to the United States. Since Russia is the United States’ third-largest supplier of oil, contributing roughly 8% to U.S. imports (about 672,000 barrels daily), prices shot up after the announcement.
The ban on Russian oil imports stems from desperate pleas from Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, along with pressure for the international community to take additional, more damaging actions by cutting off the cash flow funding the Russian military effort against Ukraine.
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham shared his opinion on the rising prices.
“That was a wake-up call. I think it was 40 bucks for half a tank of gas,” said Graham, who has been pushing for increased domestic production of oil and gas and fuel dependence from Russia.
Although the international energy sanctions are helpful to the Ukrainian campaign and have inflicted severe damage on Russia’s global income, U.S. citizens are simultaneously paying for Russia’s actions.
Clemson students are voicing their concerns over the increase in their gas bills.
“They have been affecting me on a personal level and academic level,” said Nicholas Schafehen, a sophomore economics major who lives outside walking distance of campus. “At this point I am really considering investing in a bike.”
Rising gas prices could have an impact on the fees associated with the semester tuition as well to compensate for the rise in energy costs.
“The University is aware and actively monitoring gas prices and inflation,” said Rick Petillo, Clemson’s chief financial officer. “No decision regarding next year’s tuition and fee structure has been reached. The new increased price of energy is one of many that the University will consider when recommending next year’s fee schedule to the Board of Trustees later this spring.”
At Clemson, 59% of students live in off-campus residences. Clemson offers various methods for students and faculty to get themselves to campus aside from their personally owned vehicles.
Students have access to the Clemson Area Transit (CAT) public bus system which runs within and throughout Clemson. CAT busses are a fare-free service that operates in Clemson, Pendleton, Seneca and Central.
Clemson also incentivizes students to utilize each other through their encouragement of carpooling to campus. Various carpool programs have been a major improvement to commuter transportation.
To increase carpools, expanded incentives are offered to participants that include preferred parking and reduced parking permit fees. Clemson carpool was established to help facilitate increased carpool opportunities.

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