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My Solution to Gas Prices? Skype News Reports From Home

Monday, 27 Feb 2012 | 4:08 PM ET

I drive about 25,000 miles a year, so changes in gas prices are something I notice. I spend about $13/day just for the round trip commute to work, assuming I don't also drive myself to a story.

Today I'm saving myself some money by reporting from home via Skype on my iPad. Technology trumps my carbon footprint! The downside: bad lighting. I don't look so hot. Holding an iPad at arm's length is not the most attractive angle. But I saved enough to buy lunch!

Jane Wells Skypes from Home
CNBC's Jane Wells reports from her back yard via Skype because gas prices are just too high to make the 76-mile round trip to work.

Like me, a lot of Americans on both coasts are wondering if gas will go to $5 a gallon. In LA, I've seen prices as high as $4.79. On the east coast, prices are about a dollar cheaper. A big reason for the difference is California's high gas taxes, which average $.56 a gallon, and the more expensive reformulated fuel that has to be sold in the Golden State.

We talked to commuters from both coasts. I chose one group from each which best represent their geographical location. Jose Medina and Dorothy Hoelleger are straight out of the Bronx, spending $70 a week on gas per car. "We're gonna have to start ridin' a bike," Dorothy quips. In LA, I ran into Skyler Stone(an actor, naturally), who estimates he's spending $225 a week on gas during pilot season. The upside? Unlike folks in other parts of the country, his heating bill is zero. "It's California," Stone says. "That's one reason you move here. Eliminate one bill right there."

Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email funnybusiness@cnbc.com

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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