EWU adjusts to rising gas prices


Keri Kelly

Gas prices in Cheney rose from $4.06 to $4.24 in one week.

By Keri Kelly, Co-Managing Editor

Almost immediately after the war between Russia and Ukraine began, oil prices began to skyrocket. In less than a month, gas prices in Spokane had risen from $3.82 to $4.33. Students and faculty across campus were forced to hand over the extra cash in order to commute to Eastern’s campus.

Many students at EWU commute between Spokane and Cheney. Clint Price, a Junior at EWU recounts how he drives between Idaho and Cheney constantly. “It cost me $85 to fill up the last time I filled up,” Price said.

Even EWU faculty who live in Spokane feel the cash draining out of their pockets. “I live out in the valley so I’m driving out to Cheney every day,” Monica Graham, Running Start Advisor stated.

Between the cost of education and commuting, students have either begun to search for less expensive means of travel or other options to reduce costs. Price is currently commuting using the new transit station on the Cheney campus. “There have been days that I would drive to get out here but because of the gas prices I haven’t,” Price recounts.

The Conoco gas station in front of Safeway. (Keri Kelly)

For the most part, the community has resigned to the reality that gas is no longer an inexpensive commodity. Graham chooses to adjust her budget in order to accommodate the new gas expenses. She says, “It is a little more expensive and it is impacting my budget, but I’m budgeting for that.”

For many, the topic of gas prices can be difficult due to the hardships that impact friends and family in Ukraine. Graham mentions that she doesn’t mind spending the extra money on gas because she is more concerned with the war overseas. 

“I spent my peace corps time in Ukraine so my host family is still in Ukraine,” Graham shares. “I have a lot of feelings around…I can live with high gas prices compared to what my host family is experiencing in Ukraine.”

Some students believe that the government should take further action against the rising prices. “Politically speaking I think there is more that the government could do to bring down gas prices, like the keystone pipeline and stuff like that,” Price says.

At this time, President Biden is fighting to lower gas prices by tapping into the Nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, according to the New York Times. This reserve was established in the 1970’s to assist America in times of crisis. The President is releasing one million barrels per day for 180 days to slow the rising prices. This will total to 180 million barrels released.