See! We can use less gas if we really want to!


High gas prices were predicted to go even higher due to a typical increased summer demand. But this year, it looks like drivers are being a little more frugal. A 1% drop in demand for gas compared to last year at this time has helped keep prices in check even though crude oil prices keep rising.

I knew that Americans had it in them to cut back a little to save some money. And little did they know that their decreased driving would create decreased demand for gas, which results in a lower price at the gas pump. See how nicely this whole supply and demand and free market stuff works when the government leaves us alone?

The bad news is that prices aren't likely to stay in the $4 per gallon range for too long. The biggest driver of prices at the gas pump is the price of crude oil. And if crude oil keeps rising as many experts predict it will, prices at the pump will keep going up too.

This drop in demand proves what I've said all along: American drivers could drive less if they choose to. Sure, driving back and forth to work isn't often negotiable. But any other driving is optional, and consumers are wise to cut down on their miles and find ways to conserve gas.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.