Anitra Smith (anitra) wrote,
Anitra Smith

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Oil and gas prices, adjusted for inflation

Every time I hear someone complain about the price of gasoline, I wonder: how do today's prices really compare to the prices of the crises in the 1970s? Today, I happened to stumble upon not one, but two different charts of this data, adjusted for inflation:

First, the price of a barrel of crude oil, in 1999 dollars: Crude oil prices from 1860-2000
(Courtesy of Wikipedia)

As you can see, our current prices of $60/barrel are high, but the 1981 peak price is about $70/barrel when adjusted for inflation.

Price of gasoline, from 1980 to mid-2005, adjusted for inflation

I've expected for a while that our current steady climb in prices will not stop until we have reached at least $2.50 for a gallon of gas. (My corner station is currently selling the lowest-grade gas for $2.39.) Looking at this graph, I would guess that most of the population will start doing something to curb their gasoline use when the price rises to $2.75 or more, since the record high is just over $3 in today's dollars.

One side benefit to being a one-job family: we're using less than half the gasoline we did before. :)
Tags: demo, money, news

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