Cheap fuel compared with 60’s and 70’s

By Lauren Rust

With gas prices dipping below $1.50, it is time to look back to when gas was this cheap.

Records show gas prices have not been this low since 2003.

Bill Sheldon, English professor, looks back to his youth and the gas prices at that time — as low as 38 cents per gallon. Sheldon said when gas was cheap, teens would cruise his town’s main drag all night long.

“We didn’t even think about it (gas prices) all that much,” Sheldon said. “Growing up, we might kick in a couple of bucks on an evening and that would be enough.”

Another instructor recalled seeing 18-cent regular gas, in 1966, in Lindsborg.

Now Sheldon thinks more about the price of gas. For example, in the summer of 2014, as prices spiked above $4, Sheldon traveled with his family.

“We were paying as much each month for gas as we were for a car payment on a fairly new car.”

It seems that gas prices eventually will rise, but inflation is to blame for a large part of it.

According to the website for the U.S. Energy Information and Administration, a gallon of gasoline in 1976, for example, was 61 cents, the equivalent of $2.57 in today’s money.

With gas currently being cheaper, students can afford to travel more and go out with friends.

Rachel Barlow, Inman, travels from home to go to school, so she spends a lot of time on the road. “It’s definitely made my life a lot easier,” Barlow said. “I don’t have to try and find places to stay all day in Hutch before work, which is great as well. It also makes driving to Wichita or up to see my sister at K-State a lot easier.”

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