April 26th, 2011


Pounding Through The Barrier!

Well, They Still Managed To Surprise

Yesterday I got gas -- and regular was $3.83.9/gal. Today, as I drove through Allendale at oh-dark-thirty to my 8am Final Exam, gas was $4.17.9/gal. Really? 34¢ a gallon rise in one day?

Just under two weeks ago, they were knocking on the door at four-buck-a-gallon. And I suppose they figured to wait until after Easter, so as not to be accused of devil worshiping or sumpthing. But as is typical, you don't just ease through these psychological barriers, you blaze through them with sonic booms trailing behind.

But 34¢ a gallon? What terrible crisis could be going on? Let's see, oil prices, which actually shouldn't be reflected in today's price but they do if they're going up (evil grin), are actually going down. Wholesale gasoline and futures, however, are going up. Especially in response to a government report that gasoline stockpiles are down. Which they are every year at this time, as the refineries do their spring maintenance and switch from winter to summer blends. But none of that seems to matter to the speculators, bless their little black hearts being the best little engines of our economy that they can be.

Compared to this time last year, gas is $1.33/gallon higher. But, I hear you say, crude oil is much more expensive than it was last year. This is true. But just as the price of the wheat in your two buck a loaf bread is just pennies, the rest of the costs of making that gasoline have not risen the same percentage as crude oil has -- otherwise the oil companies would not see obscene windfall prices as gas prices rise. And remember, last year the oil companies had to do the spring gas switch from winter to summer as well.

Of course the other year, some refineries were idled, in order to run prices higher. Just to endear the oil companies to my displeasure even further.

Bottom line -- they wanted to go over four bucks and they have, with a vengeance. As a point of reference, the local news was saying the peak average gas price the other year was $4.21.9/gal. Do you smell "new record" coming?

Dr. Phil