Anticipating Lower Prices in the “Speedway States”

Tuesday, May 29, 2007, 1:15PM:  I know we are hurting with gas prices — Michigan has the highest average price in the country right now.  A newsletter I receive regularly reports that last week “Governor Granholm submitted testimony to Congress on the escalating cost and volatility of gasoline prices in Michigan and across the nation. The Governor also joined with other Democratic governors in asking President Bush to support legislation that would define gas price gouging and press oil companies to increase refinery capacity.”  I think the governors of the “Speedway States” (MI, OH, IN, IL, WI, MN) need to apply whatever pressure they can to improve the situation with refineries, but it is clear to me that the retailers are not gouging us.  They are paying a wholesale price that is highly elevated right now.  So is it the refiners?  The oil companies?  Both?

And what about those companies that own refineries and retail outlets, like Speedway?  I still want a better understanding of whether or not the fact that the six states listed above have the highest prices in the country right now has anything to do with the fact that these are the six states that Speedway sells gas in.  We know the extent to which Speedway leads the other stations around when it comes to retail prices.  What influence do they have on wholesale prices?  I just don’t know.

The real point of this site is to try to buy gas before a price hike.  It remains difficult to do this as long as wholesale prices in the Speedway States are so out-of-whack with other parts of the country.  The one read I have on regional wholesale prices is that they are lower than they were a week ago when we jumped to $3.65.  That suggests to me we have room to go down to $3.35, and since we are currently in a $3.41-$3.59 range, I’m going to proceed under the assumption that a price hike isn’t coming this week and hold off on filling up with gas.  So, let’s make that a prediction, subject to change.

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