Americans everywhere are shocked and stressed as gas reaches the all-time high with the national average at $4 per gallon. But, common outrage does not mean common hardship. High gas prices impact rural USA the worst.
Those living outside cities are facing tough decisions, especially in the Southeast where public transportation is lacking and commute distances are sprawling. For farm workers, sports-utility vehicles actually have some utility; but, it's much more costly to fill up pick-up trucks and vans. To adjust, some are cutting back on meat, others are borrowing money for gas, and some are searching for scarce jobs closer to home.
Faraway from rural America, Saudi Arabia is calling for a summit on astronomical oil prices. The Saudi Information and Culture Minister said that the kingdom wants to ensure that there are no unwarranted or unnatural oil price hikes that could impact international economies, especially those of developing countries.
Perhaps oil producers like Saudi Arabia are worried that high prices will force people to reduce their demand. Hearing about the struggles in rural America, it's difficult to imagine how consumers won't try to kick their oil addiction as soon as possible.