Starting at 5:00 p.m. today, Compass Colorado will offer the first 100 people a tank of gas at $1.84, the national price of gas when President Obama was inaugurated to highlight his failure to reduce the price of gas for struggling families.  (Keystone pipeline anyone?)  The cheap gas can be found at the Shell Gas Station at 12410 W. Alameda Parkway, Lakewood, CO 80228.  Get there early!

But, this event actually got us thinking about how much more this might cost families per month.  Below is a chart showing the increase in gas prices since January 2009.  In Colorado, the average retail gas price for the month of January in 2009 was $1.59.  So far, this month, it is now $3.50.

According to, the same gas if simply adjusted for inflation should cost just $1.70 today.  But, again, we're at $3.50 per gallon.  So, how much more does this cost an average family per month and per year?

According to the Federal Highway Administration, the average miles driven per year is approximately 13,476.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average miles per gallon of gas for cars on the road is 22.8.

The average person drives 1,123 miles per month, which means he or she uses 49.25 gallons of gas per month.  In January 2009, that meant that he or she would have spent just over $78 on gas for the month.  But, today, that same "average" driver would spend a whopping $172 on gas.  What does that extra $100 mean to families?  It's just $100 right?  Well, over the entire year, that's $1,200.

From TQ Houlton of Compass Colorado:

“President Obama’s reckless opposition to domestic energy production has made America more dependent on foreign oil and drastically increased the cost of gasoline.  High gas prices have hurt Colorado families and it’s our goal today to help alleviate the pain at the pump, even if it’s just for one tank of gas.”

There have been several campaigns highlighting this issue over the past few months – perhaps you’ve seen the “groceries or gas?” post-it notes around – but, for some families $100 per month (or, $1,200 per year) is a significant amount of money and truly makes the difference between financial security and financial failure.

Thanks Mr. President!