Gut Rumbles

April 02, 2006

what did I miss?

Okay, just for the record: I went to Costa Rica at the end of February. When I left the USA, gasoline was selling for $2.07 a gallon in Georgia. That's what I paid when I filled up my car the day before I headed off to Costa Rica.

I spent a week in Costa Rica, stayed sick for a week after I got back home, then ended up in the hospital for five days after that. I lost another week recovering from the hospital visit. Only now, FOUR WEEKS after I left the country, have I become un-housebound and coherent enough to notice that today gasoline costs $2.49 a gallon where I live.

Huh??? WTF happened while I was out of circulation?

I don't do math (I was an English major) but to me, current gas prices look almost 20% higher than they were a month ago. We haven't experienced any natural disasters, refinery fires or OPEC gougings during this time, have we? If we did, I missed them. If not, why the hell is gasoline so expensive again? And I live in a state where gas is relatively cheap, compared to the rest of the country.

What are YOU paying for gas now?


We're paying $2.54 in Terre Haute, Indiana, went to a gunshow in northern Indiana yesterday and it was $2.65.

You have to remember one thing, the government doesn't want the gas prices lower, the higher the price, the more tax they get. Good old government

Posted by: AndyJ on April 2, 2006 05:10 PM


Posted by: livey on April 2, 2006 05:14 PM

Their (the petrol industries) lastest excuse for the price: Spring Break. They are already predicting ( more like telling us) that gas will be $3.00 a gallon this summer...were at 2.749 in Michigan this week...I say you're getting a good deal!

Posted by: Wizard on April 2, 2006 05:27 PM

In Melbourne, Australia
$1.28 per litre (Aussie dollars). That equates to...

Sorry, just had to step away to do the not so simple calculation...

$3.52 per gallon (US dollars)

And it's our product, harvested off-shore here and refined just outside of Melbourne! Can't blame shipping costs!

Posted by: Karen in Australia on April 2, 2006 05:49 PM

$2.81 In Calif.

Posted by: Maeve on April 2, 2006 06:36 PM

Don't know.

I stopped looking years ago.

Posted by: rightisright on April 2, 2006 06:38 PM

2.59 here in Central Texas. We usually have cheaper than average gasoline here, but I'm as confused as Acidman on this current friggin' issue. Why even bother to worry? It just pisses me off.

Posted by: Jason H. on April 2, 2006 07:13 PM

$2.59 in Raleigh / Durham. I don't usually look myself cause I only fill up about every three weeks but I was surprised when the pump kept going. For a minute I thought I had a hole in gas tank or something.

I've been filling it for around 20 bucks for the last few weeks. It cost me around 25 this time. What bullshit that it's because of spring break. They know everybody is going to be going somewhere so they raise the price because they know you'll pay. It's not like the supply has been affected.

Posted by: Libby on April 2, 2006 07:17 PM

Cheapest gas around Portland, OR was $1.95 at the end of Feb (weird, because we were cheapest in the country for a while, usually the other way around), now cheapest is $2.37, but most are $2.45.

No shortage, no refineries down, just pure greed.

Let's hear it from you capitalists and libertarians: try defending "charge what the market will bear".

I'll have an open thread on Rivrdog blog for this.

Posted by: Rivrdog on April 2, 2006 07:56 PM

$2.39 today in the heart of OK

Posted by: RubyTuesday on April 2, 2006 08:16 PM


Posted by: dog lite on April 2, 2006 08:34 PM

2.59 in L.A. (Lower Alabama, that is)...took $68 to fill my suburban *SOB*

Posted by: DixieDarlin' on April 2, 2006 08:40 PM

It's 2.53 in NC. I heard on the news the refineries were switching to "summer blends" and that drove up price. I believe price is rising because we've proven we are a bunch of dumbasses that'll pay anything for gas and use just as much as we ever did.

Posted by: MJH on April 2, 2006 08:50 PM

I agree with MJH. We'll keep on performing the BOHICA act until we quit electing all those self-serving sonsofbitches to Congress. "Politician": just another word for "whore". Solution? Give 'em two terms in office. If they're not working for OUR benefit by then, vote the bastards out of office and make 'em go to work for a living. Snarl.

Posted by: Ol' Lurker on April 2, 2006 09:21 PM

I filled up friday & paid $2.70 for premium - req'd in my car. Regular was selling for $2.50 here in western Arkansas.

BTW, there was a refinery problem 2 weeks ago. Should be solved by now, though.

Posted by: Richthofen on April 2, 2006 09:24 PM

One reason is that summer blends are pricier. Also, the government is requiring the refineries to switch from MTBE (gasoline additive that contaminates ground water) to ethanol blends in the gasolines which adds approximately 15 to 20 cents per gallon additional cost. At the moment, I'm paying $2.49 per gallon.

Posted by: Tessa on April 2, 2006 09:44 PM

$2.56 here in Houston

Posted by: Nancy on April 2, 2006 11:11 PM

It's going to happen. Those nut-jobs are bragging about high-speed torpedoes (and our very own LSM are lapping it up without consideration of range or accuracy) and the LSM is also proporting that Iran has missle delivery systems capable of harming US interests.
If we don't push back against the Iraniums (TM), and soon....look for more volatility in crude oil prices.

Posted by: Bart on April 3, 2006 12:05 AM

Yea, I live in a college town and for ONCE it was $0.20 CHEAPER in Savannah than here. Usually we beat them by 5 or 6 cents. We are paying about $2.70 a gallon...

This too shall pass one day, or I will one.

Posted by: Steph on April 3, 2006 12:14 AM

$2.59/gal for regular in Canton, MS. I pay $2.79/gal because the new car "highly recommends" premium.

It was $2.84 in Michigan on Wednesday of last week where I was at before I drove back to MS.

Cheapest I saw it on my long journey down to the south was in Missouri, at $2.29/gal... which the clerk said was "pretty high".

Posted by: limbokid on April 3, 2006 01:09 AM

Bullshit on all the excuses, its plain old greed, expect to see more record profits by the three major oil companies. The were called on the carpet by the government and basically told the government to fuck off and the consumers will pay whatever the oil giants feel like.

Posted by: james old guy on April 3, 2006 07:17 AM

I paid 2.62 Saturday. I reckon it is the law of supply and demand in action. There is a higher demand throughout the world and producers are taking advantage of it.

Even at $3.00 gasoline is still cheap if one uses the 1950's as a base and loks at the inflation index and then comepares the prices with everything else. When gaoline was a quarter a gal a Coke was a nickel. Now gasoline is 2.60 and a coke is 75 cents. Percentage wise the prices of most other things have gone up a lot more than gasoline.

But it still takes some getting used to when it tears a hundred dollar bill all to hell just to buy a tank of fuel.

Posted by: GUYK on April 3, 2006 08:40 AM

2.69ish in Detroit.

Posted by: Ronda on April 3, 2006 09:05 AM

Oops! Prices are now $2.89.

Posted by: Maeve on April 3, 2006 09:19 AM

$2.28 in NE Nevada.

Posted by: Alan on April 3, 2006 11:45 AM

$1.10 per litre, about $4.18 Canadian per US Gallon...
which is about $3.57 US per gallon

Posted by: Lisa on April 3, 2006 01:54 PM

Where I live it hovers around something equal to $6.00 per gallon - ON A GOOD DAY!

But the Guinness and the wimmin are worth it!

Posted by: James "Broke Beyond Repair" Hooker on April 3, 2006 02:09 PM

Andy: The Federal government's tax on gasoline is flat. (18.3c/gal, so they make more money if you buy more gallons, not if the price goes up.

As near as I can tell, most of the state taxes are also flat-rate per-gallon (though those that charge sales tax do get some increase in revenue when the price goes up, and some have "fees" as well, but at the same time the States can't really affect the price of fuel much at all, apart from taxing it more).

If it was about income from taxes, the Feds would want the cost of gas as low as possible, to maximise consumption (and as a bonus, they'd save a huge amount of money buying fuel for the military and federal motor pool, which they could spend on whatever it is they'd spend any other increase in available funds on).

($2.47 or so on average, Oregon.)

(Oh, and MJH, I seem to recall reading that consumption dropped (compared to previous summers) last summer, because costs were so high. So, doesn't that mean "we" proved the opposite?)

Posted by: Sigivald on April 3, 2006 03:08 PM

$2.79 here in the rainy SF Bay Area (I'm waiting for the Ark).
But just a few weeks ago, we were waaaay down to almost $2.00.
It changes daily around here.

Posted by: A Different Kim on April 3, 2006 04:40 PM

$1.10 per liter in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada).

Equivalent $3.55US/gallon.

Posted by: Norm C on April 3, 2006 04:50 PM

From the Wall Street Journal. This is actually due to Congress. They are not bragging much about it, of course. The NY Times has not covered this at all AFAIK.
Not mentioned is that there have been no new refineries built in this country in decades.

Story below. Bold added by me.

Gasoline Prices Cling to Gains Amid Supply Fears By
STEVE LEVINE and ANN DAVIS March 28, 2006; Page A2

A sharp rise in gasoline prices in recent weeks could
indicate increased volatility at the pump this summer,
as the nation's fuel suppliers cope with a change in
government requirements.

Yesterday, the Energy Information Administration said
the average retail price for regular gasoline in the
past week fell less than one cent from the previous
week to about $2.50 a gallon. But the average price
was up about 14 cents between March 13 and March 20,
marking the third-largest weekly rise since the agency
began the survey in 1990, and was almost 35 cents higher
than in the year-earlier period. The average U.S. retail
gasoline price has risen by about 9% since the middle of
last month, and wholesale prices have surged about 30%.

Worries about supply shortages and gasoline prices stem
in large part from a spike last year, when hurricanes
Katrina and Rita swept through the Gulf of Mexico,
heavily damaging refineries and oil installations. At
their peak last summer, retail gasoline prices rose to
an average of $3.06 a gallon in the week ending Sept. 5.

Trilby Lundberg, publisher of the Lundberg Survey,
a retail gasoline-price survey, says she expects
average gasoline prices to peak at $2.67 by mid-July
-- or possibly higher if crude-oil prices don't
retreat. Yesterday, oil futures in New York fell 10
cents to settle at $64.16 a barrel.

Analysts attribute the quick price moves to a shift that
begins next month in gasoline blends, requiring chemicals
to be added for environmental and other reasons. Because
of the energy bill passed last year by lawmakers, most
U.S. refiners will halt the use of methyl tertiary butyl
ether as a gasoline additive and substitute ethanol.

Many analysts worry that there will be spot shortages
of ethanol, which could slow gasoline deliveries to some
U.S. markets, particularly in the Northeast. In a report
issued yesterday, Credit Suisse Securities predicted
volatile gasoline prices in the summer, singling out
the Northeast and Texas. The report said that concerns
about shortages "have permeated the market."

"I don't think there's anybody out there that thinks
there's really enough ethanol to go around," says John
Kilduff, senior vice president for energy risk management
at Fimat USA Inc., a brokerage firm. "We're talking about
a very strained refining industry that's in the process
right now of rebuilding and retooling from Katrina."

Some analysts say that U.S. gasoline inventories are high
and that European refiners and U.S. traders have had
sufficient lead time to adjust to the blend change. An
EIA official said that summer gasoline supplies could
be tight in some places because of possible ethanol
shortages. But the agency said in its report last week
that the recent price trend doesn't point to additional
large retail-price increases soon.

End of story.

Posted by: joel Hammer on April 3, 2006 08:33 PM

Check out

Posted by: Mark -- on April 5, 2006 11:26 AM
Post a comment

*Note: If you are commenting on an older entry, your
comment will not appear until it has been approved.
Do not resubmit it.