Comment on my May 27 posting: On Thursday, May 28, prices started to rise at the end of the day to $2.75. Since then, there have been hikes to $2.85 on Tuesday and $2.95 today.
Thursday, June 4, 2009, 6:35PM: I haven’t been very helpful with the price hikes this week, but Bill has! Let’s reflect a bit on the past five weeks. We have gone from $1.99 a gallon in Standale on April 27 to $2.95 a gallon today. Why? First we have numerous reports of mild gasoline shortages in the Midwest. Good job, gasoline industry, in managing this vital part of our economy! Second, the rise in gasoline prices has mirrored rises in the price of a barrel of oil (almost $20 a barrel) and in the Dow (almost 700 points) since April 27. Yes, as I’ve written before, we are dealing with speculators again. The price is being influenced by people who are demanding oil and gas as investments, rather than as fuel. While in the long run, higher prices will inspire new and cleaner fuels, which I support, in the short run, just as we are digging ourselves out of recession caused in part by financial geniuses who bought and sold “default swaps” and other products they couldn’t afford to support, prices spiking to $3 could cause it all to grind to halt again, like it did last summer. Great. Hopefully these artificially high prices in Chicagoland will soon attract cheaper gasoline from other parts of the country.