The Only Nickel Mine in America, Gasoline Prices and Rural Communities, Michigan Gas Tax Holiday, and Boomer Alert

Photo: Kecko, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Kecko, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

This Week in Rural Insights

On Wednesday we will be releasing our latest episode of the Rural Insights Podcast. This episode features Dirk Wierenga, director of Route 2 Elsewhere, a documentary which “tells the story of challenges that face rural America communities adapting to a changing economy, from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to Montana” and his colleague Paul Sturgul who helped promote the film.

This is a fascinating episode that you won’t want to miss!

Only Place in Nation

The Upper Peninsula is the only location in America with an active nickel mine, according to mining sources. Trivia question: Where is it?

Gasoline Prices and Rural Communities

Studies show that gasoline price increases hit rural communities harder because people in rural areas must drive further to get to work, school, shopping, etc. Also, there is a general lack of mass transportation options to car travel than in urban/suburban areas. 

Gas price increases impact municipal and school district budgets with snow plowing, bussing, etc.–budgets are impacted more by gas price increases in rural areas.

Federal/State Gas Tax Holiday

Michigan Governor Whitmer (D) and five other state governors have joined to propose a federal gas tax holiday for the rest of 2022.

The GOP-controlled Michigan House advanced a plan to suspend Michigan’s gas tax for six months. Estimated cost to the state budget is $725 million.

What Are You Paying for Gas at Upper Peninsula Pumps

What are you paying in your community for regular and high test fuel? What was it in January versus now?

National news outlets are reporting that Americans are saying they are willing to pay higher fuel prices as a way to help Ukraine. You think that is true? If it is true today, will they be willing to continue to pay higher gas prices in May to help Ukraine? 

Boomer Alert–A Sixties Revival

For those Boomers having dreams about the old days of driving around the US in a VW microbus, here is some good news for you: Volkswagen is reviving the microbus as an electric vehicle.

You will have to wait until 2024 for the first productions to roll off the line. In the meantime get out those bell bottom pants, mini skirts and flowered shirts.

The World Around Us

Russia accounts for only 3% of US crude oil imports, versus 27% for Europe as of 2019. (Bloomberg News).

75% of Americans never tweet.

Three times more Americans (56%) donated to charities during the pandemic than typically give to politicians and political parties (21%).

On an average weeknight in January 2022, 1% of US adults watched primetime Fox News (2.2 million). 0.5% watched MSNBC (1.15 million).


“Friendship with yourself is all-important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else.” Eleanor Roosevelt.

Books Recommended By Our Readers

“The Midwest Survival Guide. How we talk, love, work, drink and eat…everything with Ranch.” Charlie Berens. 2022.

Talk To Us

Keep your raves, laurels, rants and darts coming. Send them to us at We love to read them. 

About Us

Rural Insights connects policy, information, news and culture to raise topics and stories/information you might have not seen or overlooked. We bring you original writing from Rural Insights and other researchers, change makers, and storytellers, as well as our latest research and analysis.

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David Haynes

David Haynes has served as a professor of public administration and public policy. He previously has served as President of Northern Michigan University. David has been involved in the public administration and political science field for over 45 years.


  1. Catherine Ristola Bass on March 14, 2022 at 11:17 am

    Eagle Mine in Michigamme twp

  2. Chris Ghiardi on March 14, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    The Eagle mine is already scheduled for closure though the change in the price of any particular mined commodity can influence whether it is profitable to continue a mine’s operation. When it was a Rio Tinto project, the Eagle Mine north of Marquette and west of Big Bay was quite controversial.

  3. Paula S Bradley on March 30, 2022 at 10:36 am

    Isn’t there a nicklel mine in Iron Cty. Bates Twp. Winslow Lake?

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