Is this really a surpise to anyone?
As gas prices rise in the U.S., more and more gas stations are experiencing customers who fill their tanks and simply drive off without paying. With prices around $2.43 per gallon for the cheap stuff, an increasing number of people are partaking in the scourge of the pumps, “gas theft.” But as the title suggests, is this really surprising to anyone? As a nation stricken with urban sprawl, we are so heavily dependent on gasoline to run our lives that we are sometimes willing to steal. I’m sure the mindset is simple: “I’ll just do it this one time, and besides, oil companies are evil.” That’s only partially true. While oil companies may be evil to the core, gas theft is unfortunately not going to hurt the industry bigwigs. CEOs will still make their ridiculous salaries, and when they see a rise in theft, they’ll go ahead and pass that financial crunch on to you, the consumer. See? Evil. Even lawmakers in my home state of Ohio have stepped in, making gas theft punishable by suspension of one’s driver’s license.
What can we do about it? I think the easiest thing anyone can do to avoid paying high gas prices and being a slave to the pump is to simply not drive. Take the bus, take the T, ride a bike. This city isn’t that big, and it’s easy and cheap to get around on mass transit. And don’t forget about the commuter rail either.