Posted May 26, 2016
No matter where you want to go, there’s probably a road, a drive, that can take you there. Whether you were born to run or find yourself running on empty, the road beckons – and historically we Americans answer the summons. Truly, life is a highway:
The byways and highways connect a far-flung nation. They’re synonymous with liberty – they foster freedom, the chance to find a better place, perhaps. They’re the means to innumerable ends: the road home and the distant horizons on the iconic Route 66:
And energy is there, providing the power that makes the engines run and the wheels turn. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports the average retail price for gasoline was $2.30 per gallon on May 23 -- 47 cents lower than the same time last year. As EIA notes, lower prices at the pump reflect lower crude oil prices. Surging U.S. crude production is an important part of lower global crude costs. This Memorial Day weekend, AAA estimates more than 38 million Americans will be on the road, taking advantage of gasoline prices that are at their lowest levels in 11 years. Already this year Americans have saved more than $15 billion on gas, AAA says. Marshall Doney, AAA president and CEO:
“The great American road trip is officially back thanks to low gas prices, and millions of people from coast to coast are ready to kick off summer with a Memorial Day getaway.”
Americans love their cars. Without them there’d be no trips for Spring Break, no NASCAR, no drive-thru lanes! Sure, there are ebbs and flows to our travel patterns that roughly track the country’s economic health, but year in and year out we’re a nation that’s ready to go. Neil Stevens, Red State blog:
Americans love cars: cars liberate people to live, work, and travel where they want. … With cars, Americans decide where to live, where to work, where to travel, and when to do all of those things.
It’s an identity reflected in countless songs, on film, in novels and poetry. Driving in our cars we sing out loud with Tom Petty like the fictitious sports agent Jerry Maguire, we bang our heads to “Bohemian Rhapsody” like Wayne and Garth, we cruise with Smokey Robinson and we try to not let the sound of our own wheels drive us crazy. Yes, driving can be therapeutic. We can all thank energy for the fuels to keep us motoring.
So, have a great holiday weekend, America, a safe driving weekend that takes us into the summer and the welcome opportunity to be eagerly out and about – as Willie Nelson captured in song:
On the road again
Just can't wait to get on the road again
The life I love is making music with my friends
And I can't wait to get on the road again
Yep, on the road again – backseat drivers and all.
See also Energy in: A Warm Home, Valentine’s Day, The Electrical Age, Rail Transportation, Manufacturing, Healthcare, St. Patrick’s Day, March Madness Hoops, Spring Break, Play Ball! Medicines, Clean Water, Good Homes, Mother’s Day, America’s Defense, Future Careers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.