Friday, April 13, 2007

Ten Cents

Ten cents per gallon is the increase in area gas prices between 5 a.m. and 4 p.m. yesterday. This is after a twenty cent increase the previous week.

Last summer, after prices went up to around $3.49 for a good part of the summer, the state did a study to try to find out why our prices are consistently above the national average. Gee - could it have something to do with the higher-than-average gas taxes the state imposes? Or maybe with the milage-sucking evil-smelling reformulated gas we switch to for the summer?

No one seems to know for sure. Much like in meteorology, where a rumor of an impending snowstorm can send hundreds of people to the store to clear out the supplies of bread and milk, a rumor of an increase in the price of crude oil, or a spike in demand for gas sends gas prices soaring.

There seems to be a bit of self-fulfilling prophecy working here, as well. The media reports (on a purely speculative basis) that prices could reach $4 per gallon this summer. Since the well has already been primed, so to speak, you can be sure we will reach that mark, even if economic conditions don't entirely warrant it.

It may be time to break out the bicycle.

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