Monday, May 07, 2007

Gasoline prices hit record average of $3.07

From the AP via the Houston Chronicle:

Gasoline prices have surged to a record nationwide average of $3.07 per gallon, nearly 20 cents higher than two weeks earlier, oil industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday.

The previous record was $3.03 per gallon on Aug. 11, 2006.

But despite inventory fears that have sent prices higher, there are signs that the rising prices at the pump may be peaking.


The recent increases are due mostly to refinery problems, Lundberg said, noting there have been at least a dozen additional partial shutdowns in the U.S. and internationally that cut refining capacity.

Click here for the rest.

So rising prices may be peaking, eh? I'm sure they'll bounce back. And since it's become clear that the California energy crisis a few years back was completely constructed by the energy industry timing its "maintenance" operations to happen all at the same time, which shut down electricity generating capacity, thereby greatly decreasing supply, and consequently raising prices astronomically, I have a major hunch that some of these refinery "problems" may be by design. That is, I don't think Big Oil is above market manipulation.

Anyway, there is one way to deal with the situation: tax the fuck out of Big Oil's windfall profits, and regulate pump prices so they can't pass it on to consumers. And don't give me none of that "free market" bullshit. I'm referring to an economic model that worked for decades with regulated power companies. You can write the law such that Big Oil is assured a fair profit, with money for maintenance, exploration, and expansion, while taking all those billions and putting them to good use for average Americans.

Screw economic orthodoxy; these gas prices are bullshit.