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15 Mar, 2012

400,000 Young Americans Indicate, “Gas Prices Are Too Damn High” as Prices Top $4


WASHINGTON, March 14, 2012 –(BUSINESS WIRE) — Generation Opportunity today announced a new social media platform, the Facebook page “Gas Prices Are Too Damn High,” with over 400,000 fans. The page provides a forum for young Americans hit hard by the rising cost of gasoline coupled with the financial stress caused by the poor economy and lack of economic opportunity.

The gas prices page adds to the 2.4 million young people Generation Opportunity already communicates with through its popular Facebook pages “Being American by GO” and “The Constitution by GO.”

“Gas prices are a one-two punch to young people in this poor economy. Rapidly rising gas prices are hitting young people across the country particularly hard, exponentially increasing the cost of most activities they engage in and adding to their costs in finding a job or getting to work.

Young Americans are very savvy – they know that in addition to impacting their day-to-day lives, dependency on foreign energy jeopardizes our national security. Young parents, small business owners, those in the trades, and college students are united in their frustration by what appears to be a complete lack of national leadership on the issue and a failure by the President and his allies in Congress to put forward policies that better utilize America’s own energy resources,” said Paul T. Conway, president of Generation Opportunity, former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Department of Labor, and a former Chief of Staff for the Office of Gulf Coast Rebuilding at the Department of Homeland Security.

According to a 2011 poll commissioned by Generation Opportunity, 61 percent of young adults rated energy dependency among the top three national security issues facing the United States, along with national debt and indebtedness to foreign powers. In the same poll, 70 percent of young adults indicated they would increase the production of domestic energy sources like oil, natural gas, and coal. Also, due to the poor economy, 77% of young Americans indicated they either have or will delay major life decisions as a result of the poor economy including decisions to start a family, have children, buy a home, and save for retirement.

Generation Opportunity focuses on issues related to increasing economic opportunity and advancing American competitiveness and organizes young people through online voter registration, online training guides, and other tactics.

Generation Opportunity’s grassroots team has heard first-hand in several states how rising gas prices have already forced young adults to change behavior and make financial sacrifices. For example, during recent organizing trips in Michigan and Virginia, Generation Opportunity met and listened to young people from a wide range of backgrounds and occupations including young parents, college students, young entrepreneurs and those working in various trades. Overwhelmingly these young people cited rising gas prices as the reason why it costs more to get to work, get to school, see family, and pay other bills.

Generation Opportunity commissioned a poll with the polling company, inc./WomanTrend (April 16 – 22, 2011, +/- 4% margin of error) and a highlighted result for all young Americans ages 18-29 appears below:

Energy Dependency is Top National and Economic Security Issue:

  • Greatest threats to national security: National Debt (62%), Energy Dependency (61%) and Indebtedness to Foreign Powers (50%)
  • 70% would increase production of domestic energy sources like oil, natural gas, and coal.

Delayed Dreams from a Poor Economy and the Lack of Opportunity:

  • 77% of young people ages 18-29 either have or will delay a major life change or purchase due to economic factors:
    • 44% delay buying a home;
    • 28% delay saving for retirement;
    • 27% delay paying off student loans or other debt;
    • 27% delay going back to school/getting more education or training;
    • 26% delay changing jobs/cities;
    • 23% delay starting a family;
    • 18% delay getting married.

Washington Out-of-Touch on the Economy:

  • Just 31% of 18 – 29 year-olds approve of President Obama’s handling of youth unemployment.
  • 69% say the current leadership in Washington fails to reflect the interests of the younger generation.
  • 59% of overall Millennials agree the economy grows best when individuals are allowed to create businesses without government interference.

Read about Generation Opportunity here; visit “Being American by GO” on Facebook here, “The Constitution by GO” on Facebook here, and “Gas Prices Are Too Damn High” on Facebook here.