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STUDENT NEWS

Average Cost of Gas in U.S. at $3 for 1,000 Days

Aired September 19, 2013 - 04:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: It`s Thursday. I`m Carl Azuz. This is CNN STUDENT NEWS. We`re jumping right in today with a milestone you might have noticed, but a lot of folks aren`t too happy about. In the United States, the average cost of a gallon of gasoline has been at least $3 for 1,000 days in a row. Some folks might be used to it, but you also might remember when gas prices were lower. Christine Romans looks at some of the driving forces behind the increase.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The last time the average price of a gallon of gas was under $3 a gallon was in December 2010. The trend has been higher for a decade now, but look at this; right here in December, 2010, was the last time you saw it below. And here, while you have super low prices here, but that was because of a global financial crisis. So, why is gas so high? A few reasons here: first, global instability. No surprise, the Arab Spring began in December 2010, about the same time this oil run started. Syria concerns, more recently have kept oil prices high.

The world wants more oil. And we`re seeing rising demand for gas in the developing world, places like China and India. We`re not seeing that cheap supplies that we`re used to, right? We`re getting fuel from fracking and deep water platforms, and that is expensive. And tightening supply and demand is something that investors are watching. It keeps prices rising when you see this -- this fundamental shifts, investors demanding here- that investor demand also driving up the price of crude oil.

So, is this the new normal? Well, we asked Tom Kloza, a chief oil analyst for gas, but he says, this is where we are now. By the end of the new year, by the end of the year and into the new year, you could see maybe three bucks a gallon. Of course, all that depends on Syria and whether conflict can be peacefully resolved there. It also depends on the Fed. If the Fed should begin to taper back its bond purchases, that could mean demand for commodities would go down, demand for things like oil, investor demand for oil, and that could mean lower gas prices ahead. So, watch those two things: Syria and the Fed. That could matter to how much you`re paying for a gallon of gas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AZUZ: You heard Christine say "the Fed." She`s talking about the U.S. Federal Reserve, the country`s central bank. It`s responsible for implementing monetary policies, basically the Fed controls the country`s money supply. In recent years, the Fed has bought bonds and other kinds of securities to try to help the struggling U.S. economy. It`s a practice called quantitative easing. Christine mentioned the possibility of the Fed backing off that practice. Yesterday, the Federal Reserve announced it won`t. The Fed said it doesn`t see enough improvement in the economy right now, so it`s going to keep buying bonds at the same rate for at least another month.

That news went over well on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Average and the S&P 500, they give an idea of how the whole stock market is doing. They both jumped to record levels yesterday after the Fed`s announcement.

In the U.S., a person making just over $11,500 a year is living below the poverty line. For a family of four, it`s just under $23,500. What`s surprising is that 15 percent of Americans are living in poverty now, according to a new report by the U.S. Census. It`s the third year in a row that the poverty rate has been at or above 15 percent. The last time it was that high for this long, was 1965. You`d be right to blame the Great Recession for part of this. It`s sent a lot of folks in the poverty. But the recession officially ended in June of 2009, poverty peaked the next year. What worries many economists, is that it hasn`t significantly decreased since then.

One analyst put it like this.: the U.S. economy has been growing, but that hasn`t made a difference yet to many U.S. citizens. Jobs have been coming back, but they are just not paying as much. Right now the median household income is $51,000 a year. In 2007, it was higher, at more than $55,000.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: See, if you can I.D. me. I became a U.S. state in 1912. I`m one of the "Four Corners" states. And I`m surrounded by Arizona, Colorado and Texas. My nickname is "Land of Enchantment." I`m New Mexico. And I`m the fifth largest state in size.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: The fifth largest state is under a statewide disaster declaration. That means government funds will be made available to help people, and that`s after severe floods washed through parts of New Mexico. People in the town of Madrid are cleaning up from water, mud and coal. Piles of it from nearby abandoned minds broke loose and flowed across people`s property. Officials say the coal doesn`t pose any additional health risks.

Up in Colorado, helicopters are moving around the state swooping down to rescue people trapped by flooding there. Authorities say, hundreds of people were airlifted to safer ground this week, hundreds of others are still stranded.

So are thousands of people in Mexico: tropical storm and a hurricane dumped huge amounts of water on the country. The severe weather made rescue efforts difficult for a while, but they got back on track yesterday.

Go across the Atlantic Ocean now, because today`s "Roll Cal" schools are all in Europe. First up, the Dragons at Alconbury Middle/High School in England. Next, we`ll hop over the Channel and head to France`s Loire Valley to say hello to our viewers in Tours. And finally, Ukraine gets under the "Roll Call" with a National University of Ostroh Academy.

Former civil rights activist has a message for young men in Memphis, Tennessee, and he wants as many people as possible to see it. "Show Your Mind, Not Your Behind." Fred Davis paid $6,000 to put this billboard up for the next three months. He says he`s trying to encourage young men to realize that sagging your pants can have a negative impact on your future.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRED DAVIS, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: If you want to be up (inaudible) noble, you can`t present that image to people who are qualified to make a decision about you.

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AZUZ: Davis was part of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And he says his experiences are part of the reason why he thinks this message is important.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVIS: We didn`t fight for a tarnished (ph) mentality. We fought to create an opportunity for the generations who came behind us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: So, do you agree that saggy pants say something about your future prospects? Or is the only statement they make, a fashion statement. We know you`ve got opinions on this. Our blog is the place to share them. If you`re 13 or older, you can go to cnnstudentnews.com. Just remember, whether you`re pro -- or anti-sag, we only except your first name when you comment.

So you had a bad day. We all do. How do you handle it? Maybe you just sing a sad song? Just to turn it around? You work it a smile, and you go for a ride? We wanted some advice from someone besides Daniel Powder, so we asked some high school juniors and seniors, how they handle bad days for this edition of the CNN STUDENT NEWS "Viewfinder."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMA PARIKH, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: Usually just going to a teacher, maybe not to talk about anything, but to just hear about their life experiences, to hear about ways they make -- they can make me feel about it is always a great place to start.

AMAYA CARR, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: Beyonce.

(LAUGHTER)

CARR: When my day goes bad, I just turn on my iPod and I listen to Beyonce, and I sing like I`m in Amsterdam or somewhere.

NICK MUSEY, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: You know, I go into YouTube and look up, you know, inspirational videos and look at -- and just, you know, just to remind myself, you know, what I`m doing, what I want to accomplish, what I want to get to.

GARLAND JONES, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: I go mainly to my father. My father because he knows me very well. And I just talked to him about it, and he`s able to listen.

BENJAMIN GOLDFEIN, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: I go to my parents, and I just talk to them and make sure, like explain to them how I`m feeling, and also my friends, and they normally can help me out.

MARILYN PRIMOVIC, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: I`m really honest. I grab my Bible and I crack it open to some of my favorite (inaudible) verses. And I just cling to that.

GRACE RYBACK, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: I would definitely go to some of my best friends, because they are always there for to support me, and I talk to my parents, I listen to music, I read a book.

GORDON CLARK, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: I keep a little box in my room where I write all the good things that happened to me on sticky notes and put them in the box, and when I`m having bad day, I just cut open the box, I just start reading through those things, and remind myself that there are lots of good things in life as well as the bad.

ROSHIN KOOPLICAT, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: My mom would be the first thing that I will go to, she`s very comforting, and she`s very good with handling problems, and I believe I can always depend on her.

BROOKE JOHNSON, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: OK. Most of the time, I look to my music for inspiration, because it helps me get away, just to think about things and listen to what other, you know, people have to say through their music.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: There are only around 5,000 black rhinoceros in the world. But there is one more at the zoo in Chicago, and he made his public debut in this YouTube video. King was born last month, weighed around 60 pounds then. Now, he`s up to 200. So, he seems to be growing just fine. The fresh-face guy is happy to follow his mother around in his pen for now, but eventually, he might want to taste to the lime line (ph), and that`s when the young rhino will try to horn in on the spotlight. For now, though, it`s just a baby who needs regular naps. You know how he knows when he go to sleep -- when it`s rhine o`clock.

After that one, we might want to hide. We`ll zoom back tomorrow to close out the week. Have a great day.

END