Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Misc: Yikes!

Gas prices spike to an all-time high

Oil traders shrugged off Bush's petroleum reserve announcement. Prices in Washington surged to as much as $3.15 a gallon.

WASHINGTON - Gasoline prices in many U.S. cities spiked past the all-time highs set in 1981 and no relief for motorists as oil traders largely shrugged off the Bush administration's Wednesday announcement that it was releasing supply from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Just a day earlier, analysts had predicted that prices could climb to record levels by Labor Day weekend in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. But it happened by midday Wednesday. Gas stations in and around the nation's capital surged to $3.15 a gallon at some stations. They rose similarly in many populated urban centers across the nation, and passed the inflation-adjusted high of $3.11 set in March 1981.

" much as $3.15?"

I just went out to lunch and the cheapest gas I saw in Ann Arbor was $3.19 for regular at a Circle-K. That's not even brand-name gas.

Back in April March when there was some other "external factor" [update: it was the refinery explosion] that caused a spike over $2.00 I remarked that the gas companies would have us used to paying $2.30 by Memorial Day. I was wrong. Gas has pretty much been at least $2.50-$2.70 all summer. Yesterday gas was $2.74 at the same station charging $3.19 today. That's nearly 50 cents in one day. Mark my words, tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve or no, gas will stay close to $3 a gallon or higher the rest of our lives. Once they get a chance to cross these thresholds, they are never coming all the way back down again.

UPDATE: I guess this will shut up all the right-wing apologists who as late as last week, were making like prices weren't so bad, "This isn't a historic high if you adjust for inflation...", etc.


Doug said...

Up like a rocket, down like a feather. I think a psychological barrier has been crossed. If prices don't come way down reasonably quickly, there is going to be political hell to pay.

Bob said...

It's been holding in my neck of the woods, SF Bay area, at just about $3. I think we're far enough away from New Orleans that panic hasn't set in.

Nevertheless, a lot of long faces in the cabs of those big trucks commuting to an office job.