Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

U.S. Gas Prices Continue To Fall

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the just-when-I-stop-driving-so-much dept.

The Almighty Buck 398

First time accepted submitter nmpost writes "Earlier this year, as gas prices hit record highs in the winter and spring for that time of year, experts warned we were headed for all time records this summer. Something strange happened before every motorists recurring nightmare happened: gas prices actually started dropping. In fact, prices have fallen over $.50 since they peaked in the spring. Experts have now flipped their projections, and believe prices will continue to tumble through the fall."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered


Is this pump price? (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#40425213)

Or wholesale? FP, by the way.

Re:Is this pump price? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425239)

More than .50 here. From 4.15 to 3.41. East coast.

Thank science I no longer live in California!

Re:Is this pump price? (5, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | about 2 years ago | (#40425419)

Interesting that Rolling stone magazine wrote this article a while back. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-great-american-bubble-machine-20100405 [rollingstone.com]

Note the whole thing about oil prices having been spiked as a bubble, and in the process of being respiked. Also note the whole thing on carbon tax credits etc. If true, I wonder how much longer the world at large will put up with such shenanigans?

California Gas Prices (5, Interesting)

billstewart (78916) | about 2 years ago | (#40425657)

California's gas prices are always a bit higher because we have about 50 cents more tax per gallon than most states - but it mostly goes to road maintenance, and otherwise it would just be built into the income tax or sales tax (which are also very high, but that's a separate problem.)

The other issue is that California requires somewhat special mixes of gasoline to reduce pollution, and that means there's less flexible supply chasing our demand, so we're likely to have higher prices and higher variability than states that let you burn anything. It's arguable how much of that is necessary - we could probably have more flexible definitions of low-pollution gas that would still keep our air clean, especially since car engines are more efficient and cleaner today than 10 or 20 years ago. (With my old telecommuter-friendly car, I also noticed that I consistently got about 10% worse mileage with winter gas than summer gas, though I'm not sure if my current car is as sensitive.)

By the way, if you're buying a new car, expect to spend about $1M / YourMPG on gas over the lifetime of the car. It'll last about 200K-250K miles, and gas will cost $4-5 much of that time, so you'll end up spending $20K if you buy a 50mpg Prius, or $50K if you buy a 20mpg car. (Your miles per year don't affect the total, just the variance - you can burn up your car in 5 years or keep it around for 20, you're still buying the same amount of gas before it dies. If you sell the car while it's still working, obviously the gas cost gets pro-rated.) I figure my current 30-33mpg car will cost me about $30-33K in gas, so $10-13K more than a Prius (which would have cost about $8K more to buy.)

Re:Is this pump price? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425683)

Prices go up because there is not enough demand. Prices go up because there is to much demand. WTF? Reminds me of 1984, and the perpetual war against Eastasia or is it Eurasia. I forgot who is the enemy is this week.

Re:Is this pump price? (1)

icebrain (944107) | about 2 years ago | (#40425265)

Anecdote =/= data, but that's definitely pump price in my area... we went from $3.69 (or higher) a few months ago to $3.03 this afternoon.

Re:Is this pump price? (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#40425395)

in the UK in 2008 petrol was 89p/litre. April this year, it spiked to £1.42, now it's down to £1.33... crude is at US$20/barrel (what?? I remember not so long ago it was over US$110!) and it's definitely going up again in August by 5p/litre - pretty much wiping out the reduction in pump prices we've had over the last two months as the oil giants will use it as an excuse to gouge the fuck out of us..

Re:Is this pump price? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425409)

Don't read this... it is a curse...

In 1998, a little boy named Timmy was enjoying a relaxing day at the beach with his beloved family. Being the curious and adventurous young lad that he was, he managed to sneak away from his family and traveled far enough away from them that they could just barely see him from where they were located. Little Timmy, while walking, then noticed a small lizard beanie baby sitting in the sand, looking up towards him. They exchanged greetings, and then, feeling daring, Timmy said, "I betcha can't lick my buttcheeks!"

The lizard replied in a confident tone, "I bet I can!" Then, the lizard beanie baby's tongue stuck out a few centimeters in front of its face and stopped moving. Timmy, not understanding the situation, gazed at it in puzzlement. Suddenly, he heard and felt something slimy smack his precious cheek! He couldn't believe it! It was as if most of the lizard's tongue was invisible and that he could stretch it and make it move anywhere he wanted from any location!

Timmy, still feeling daring, then said, "I betcha can't lick my buttcrack!" In the same confident tone, the lizard replied, "I bet I can!" and the exact same event as before happened once again. The lizard stuck out its tongue a few centimeters, and mere moments later, something hit Timmy's bare buttcrack. This caused Timmy to jump in the air from surprise.

Timmy, angry that the lizard's tongue violated his precious snap, screamed, "I betcha can't lick my butthole!" This time, his voice didn't have the daring tone that it had before. The lizard almost immediately replied, in a confident tone that sounded as if he knew precisely what would happen, "I bet I can!" Regretting his decision to dare the lizard immensely, Timmy began begging and pleading for the lizard to stop. Despite this rather sad turn of events, an invisible, wet tongue smacked Timmy's bootysnapcheekcrackhole moments later! The lizard had slurped his most prized possession!

Infuriated that his most precious spot was violated by the dirty little lizard's tongue, Timmy attempted to kick the lizard. However, to his surprise, the lizard was somehow able to avoid the blow and crawl into his pant leg! Timmy could see a small lump on his pant leg slowly make its way towards his ass! Thinking quickly, Timmy used his hands to block its path. Feeling victorious, he smirked and began mocking the lizard. Seconds later, the lump somehow managed to effortlessly move right under the obstacles that were Timmy's hands and continued merrily on its way!

Timmy, frightened, tried desperately to take off his jeans, but it was as if they were glued to his body! The lizard finally made its way to Timmy's ass, crawled between his ass cheeks, climbed on top of his precious hole, and then stopped. As if it had stopped just to make Timmy even more frightened, the lizard began its mission as soon as Timmy's dread became apparent. The lizard crawled all over Timmy's bootysnapcheekcrackhole in a square pattern, stopped at each corner of the imaginary square for about a second, and then moved to the next corner.

Each time it crawled, each time it moved, a sinister rattling sound was heard, and tremendous amounts of tickle were inflicted upon Timmy's ass! He could do nothing but try to endure it, but there is no way that any being in existence could endure having such concentrated amounts of tickle inflicted upon their ass. He screamed and pleaded for it to stop, but to no avail. The lizard continued crawling, and Timmy heard it let out an ominous laugh...

Now that you have read even a single word of this, the very same lizard puppet will effortlessly make its way to your bootysnapcheekcrackhole, and crawl all over it to inflict preposterous amounts of tickle upon your ass! To prevent this from occurring, copy this entire story and post it as a comment three times.

Re:Is this pump price? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425571)

Isnt it funny that somebody spent all that time thinking and typing up the above post.


btw, i barely read a paragraph

Re:Is this pump price? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425325)

No one gives a shit that you got first post, faggot. Good job sucking yourself off, you must be really proud.

Re:Is this pump price? (-1, Flamebait)

Mabhatter (126906) | about 2 years ago | (#40425585)

AC is so scary! Log in and Troll like a slashdotter.

Re:Is this pump price? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425771)

Although I was not the person who wrote that, I think I should point out that Slashdot's fascist leadership have officially banned me in perpetuity from posting while logged in. And perhaps rightly so, because my edgy wit smoked bitch-ass motherfuckers like you and fucked your girlfriends.

So no, fuck you, shill account. Also, gas prices are low because Obama wants to be re-elected. Idiots.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Maybe (2)

Squiddie (1942230) | about 2 years ago | (#40425231)

But a lower price will drive up demand again, no? I'm thinking this is why prices fell, because people were expecting the worst and cutting back on travel.

Re:Maybe (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425269)

Prices fall because of presidential elections. My super paranoid conspiracy theory is that oil and gas companies do not want to be the subject of discourse during the elections.

Re:Maybe (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425303)

My paranoid conspiracy: Incumbents have to pay exorbitant amounts to get the prices brought down. Otherwise, the prices inflate so the opposition can blame the incumbent.

Re:Maybe (1)

Mabhatter (126906) | about 2 years ago | (#40425489)

Well prices went through the roof when Bush was a lame duck and dropped when Obama got into office... Maybe there is something to that? Let's see what happens in September-October....

Prices are more to do with supply and demand and if refineries are running well prices stay down because we don't have "emergencies". Remember too, CONSUMER usage has been going down, and modern efficient cars are keeping the numbers flatter than in the past when it would go up. Thats why truck fuel (traditionally less than consumer fuel) has been steadily higher the last few years, because it used to be a "byproduct" of making gasoline. Trucks can't "not drive" like people do, so the numbers had to adjust.

Re:Maybe (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 2 years ago | (#40425523)

Prices dropped after Lehman brothers went bankrupt and were no longer manipulating prices. Coincidence? Conspiracy?

Re:Maybe (5, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#40425691)

What on earth makes you think that any American financial firm has the clout to get OPEC, Russia and the other petroleum exporting countries to change prices at whim?

They cannot of course. The price drops have much more to do with demand destruction - less money, less gas. No speculator conspiracy, no Wall Street conspiracy, no oil company conspiracy.

Turns out the petroleum price is pretty elastic, at least in the short term.

Re:Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425815)

more like prices dropped in 2008 because nobody could figure out what the fuck was going to happen near term other than everything going to shit. People got out while they could to cut their losses. That's when you get panic selling.

For now, I think if either Romney or Obama winning, both are going to have the same foreign and energy policy, so the other comment about oversupply is also my suspicion. Someone is oversupplying the market; could be Iran making deals to other countries, which reduce their demand for non-Iranian oil.

Re:Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425679)

Prices are more to do with supply and demand

But for oil it has more to do with speculation instead of real demand. With the volume of trade, you can't just buy 50 bajillion barrels overnight. It takes time to produce that amount and with the instabilities in the middle east the supply was not guaranteed. Thus, the higher prices.

Re:Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425869)

Prices are more to do with supply and demand

Bullshit, it was speculation in oil futures over the heated election year rhetoric from Israel, the USA, and Iran that drove the price up. Now that everyone realizes that it was all BS to hype the incumbent politicians to the nutjob base in all 3 countries without intending to do a damn thing, the price has naturally come down.

Re:Maybe (5, Insightful)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 years ago | (#40425271)

Demand is low because we're in a world wide recession. They'll go back up when the economy recovers, but that could be a while because we're still coming down off the 90's bubble which knocked everything out of line.

Re:Maybe (2)

Mabhatter (126906) | about 2 years ago | (#40425561)

Ideally, fuel efficient cars will keep the peaks down. There for a while we were PHYSICALLY using less gas, not just using less than PROJECTED.

This is such a silly thing. We all talk about USING less gas, and now we ARE. Rather than tell everybody "good job" we have to keep up with the FUD that we're hurting their profits?

Re:Maybe (2, Informative)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 2 years ago | (#40425689)

On average, cars were more fuel efficient 30 years ago. The problem is with pollution controls.

Engines attain maximum efficiency when they run hotter, the problem with hotter running engines is that they produce more nitrogen oxides and cause more smog. So, in the 1980s, they imposed pollution controls to reduce the nitrogen oxides and therefore smog. The only way car makers could meet this was to make engines run cooler, and in so doing reduced the efficiency of the engines.

Miles per gallon hasn't changed much in the average family sedan, but 30 years ago the cars were bigger and heavier and used a lot more steel.


Re:Maybe (4, Insightful)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 2 years ago | (#40425663)

Demand is low because we're in a world wide recession. They'll go back up when the economy recovers, but that could be a while because we're still coming down off the 90's bubble which knocked everything out of line.

But you will have more bubble bursts and more crises. The system is just instable since neoliberal policitians removed all the safeguards that were set up after the 1929 crisis: the, Glass-Steagall Act, an higher income tax for the wealthie...

Re:Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425309)

There was never a supply/demand problem. It was speculation that demand would go up, which it hasn't and that the U.S. would go to war with Iran, which they haven't.

It was a speculative bubble.

Re:Maybe (1)

trdtaylor (2664195) | about 2 years ago | (#40425321)

Actually it was believed that the Texas Light Sweet Crude oil (which is what the "price for oil" references) was being held up to such lofty heights by large amounts of speculation. The Iran war cutting off the Strait never happened, Canada is producing a significant amount of oil, etc etc.

Fun fact, the trader who bought the first barrel of oil for over $100 did so because he wanted to have the first trade in history to do it. He sold it at a loss later in the day

Re:Maybe (5, Interesting)

guises (2423402) | about 2 years ago | (#40425519)

Supply and demand doesn't apply to oil the same way it does to other products. The OPEC countries decide what the price of oil should be and they adjust how much they pump based on that. The price of oil has been very high in the last few years as a result of the Arab Spring - the Saudis needed tons of money to fend of talk of revolution in their country. If the price of oil is falling then it's because they've decided that is no longer of primary importance. You could guess their reasons: maybe they want to squash all this talk of wind and solar power, maybe they're trying to do something about Syria, etc. It's hard to say for sure.

The OPEC countries are very careful about maintaining their control over the oil supply and making sure that it isn't subject to typical market forces. One interesting consequence of this, albeit unrelated to the topic at hand, is that the United States has essentially no influence over the price of gas in their country. At least not in the long term - this is interesting, I think, because people talk sometimes about drilling in the nature preserve in Alaska or offshore drilling as a way to reduce gas prices, but doing so would have, at best, a short term effect. The OPEC countries would quickly cut their supply and stabilize the price. Since oil is a global commodity there's really no difference between "foreign oil" and "American oil" unless some major war breaks out that stops international trade.

Re:Maybe (2)

humphrm (18130) | about 2 years ago | (#40425709)

OPEC only has so much control, and they're not united in their controls. They don't control demand, which has fluctuated wildly lately. Saudi Arabia, for instance, has been quite reticent in their controls and have been flooding the market as long as it makes them money. The anti-US contingent in OPEC would love to pull back production but the countries that actually make a profit aren't biting.

Re:Maybe (3, Informative)

Papaspud (2562773) | about 2 years ago | (#40425797)

The OPEC countries can only cut so much, and then they will start going broke. For many, if not most, of these countries this is their only source of revenue. If they don't sell oil, they have no money. If US could get all of it's supplies here in the US, it really doesn't matter how much they cut their own throats trying to raise prices, instead they will start pumping more and bringing down the prices to try and regain market share. They don't have as big of a stranglehold on the worlds market as they once did, and they have gotten used to getting all of that money and spending it.

Re:Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425601)

Prices fell because the economy weakened. The economy weakened because prices went up...

Price falls->Economy strengthens->Price rises->Economy weakens->Price falls->Economy strengthens

I'd wager we'll see this pattern over the next decade at least.

Re:Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425851)

No. Prices fell because someone wasn't willing to buy at the higher price, and others followed.

Fall, really? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425249)

I guess that's one way to look at someone raising the prices extremely high then dropping them down a bit. The gentlemen who manage the prices are very good at planning ahead. Now Obama can use this information to swing votes.

I wish everyone had a better memory.

Re:Fall, really? (3, Informative)

fightinfilipino (1449273) | about 2 years ago | (#40425383)

you might be right in one sense: Obama really should not be claiming credit for dropping gas prices.

that being said, he can't really be blamed for their insane increase, either. we have Egypt, Israel, Syria, Iran, Saudia Arabia, gas price speculators, BP, and a whole slew of other bad actors to blame for that

Re:Fall, really? (4, Interesting)

meglon (1001833) | about 2 years ago | (#40425619)

You are right, Obama has no control or input what so ever on the price of gas. However, most people will not forget the blathering, frothing at the mouth, idiots that the republicans became when prices were going up trying to blame it on Obama.

Interestingly enough, most of the fluctuations in prices in the US comes from speculators gambling on the commodities markets. Occasionally we get changes because of world events, but those world events in reality only drive speculators changing their speculations. OPEC, the great evil cartel, unlike in the mid to late '70's, is almost a wall flower in the day to day, week to week, changes.

Re:Fall, really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425897)

However, most people will not forget the blathering, frothing at the mouth, idiots that the republicans became when prices were going up trying to blame it on Obama.

Did you forget the greater number of Democrat morons who blamed high gas prices on Bush?

Re:Fall, really? (5, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 2 years ago | (#40425399)

Yes, because the prices at the local gas pump are under the direct control of an international cabal of "gentlemen" who can make the prices jump like a flea circus.


What's actually happening is a combination of seasonal events, international events, wars, lack of wars, uncertainty of supply, shutdown of local refineries, state of global economy and local supply prices. In other words, gas is based on a globally traded resource that is processed somewhat locally and sold very locally.

So yes, they did *fall*.

Re:Fall, really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425537)

If you did a regression equation for the features that cause gas prices to go up, I bet the irrational emotions of traders would be the most significant. When they fall, they're coming back towards the real cost of extracting the resource.

Re:Fall, really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425453)

Silly Republican, Presidents don't control the price of gas.

Re:Fall, really? (2)

bky1701 (979071) | about 2 years ago | (#40425499)

Everything is a conspiracy, eh? Anything bad that happens proves Obama is evil and/or incompetent. Anything good that happens proves he is just manipulating the American people. You know, these arguments are basically the same but inverted as the ones given for why an all powerful god would allow evil to exist... ie, not coherent internally, even ignoring the lack of evidence which would be required to take them as fact.

Now the question is (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425261)

How can we spin this to pin the blame on Obama?

Re:Now the question is (2)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 2 years ago | (#40425379)

Too late, the AC before you already did that.

But the real point here is: economists continue to have no clue about the economy, yet are still taken in consideration for policies. What about asking some astrologers too?

[I'm overgeneralizing, but how to find the REAL economists, not the clueless ones?]

Re:Now the question is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425495)

Complaint: Gas isn't delivered free to my car every morning by a government employee.

And if that did happen, then it'd be the Government is stifling the free market by providing it through taxes or something.

Heaven help them if the Water Car was ever real.

It's not, but if it were to be developed, by government-funded research, they'd cry about the massive unemployment.

(No, Ayn Rand devotees, you aren't the only ones who can make up such situations!)

Re:Now the question is (1)

bky1701 (979071) | about 2 years ago | (#40425543)

"It's not, but if it were to be developed, by government-funded research, they'd cry about the massive unemployment."

Don't worry. They'd sell the taxpayer funded research to the highest bidder, to allow them to strangle the market for the technology with patents. There would be no need for any worry about post-scarcity economics, since we have already shown that scarcity will be legally enforced by those who currently profit from it if it ceases to exist. That's why we have copyright.

I blame Bush (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425263)

Bush is just looking to make a profit for his oil buddies. ....oh wait

Experts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425267)

You say expert. I say idiot. No one predicts gas prices right. Except for maybe: Spring forward in the spring, fall back in the fall (sounds familiar...).

There you go. Anything in between is wildly inaccurate.

Where are they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425297)

And the Right is ominously silent. They couldn't talk about it enough when prices were high.

Re:Where are they? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#40425381)

Standard operating procedure. Suddenly finding whatshisface in contempt is the most earth-shatteringly-important thing happening right now.

Re:Where are they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425417)

Don't worry, soon enough it'll be all about how Obama is colluding with terrorists for cheap Terror-Oil, in a bid to fund another attack before the election, or something equally absurd. Lord only knows the dim-witted conservatard fucks can't lap that shit up fast enough.

In other words (5, Insightful)

godrik (1287354) | about 2 years ago | (#40425307)

Experts have no clue what will happen and guess like everybody.

Re:In other words (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#40425859)

Well they sure don't have any clue. I agree with that, but back a few years ago when oil was $80/BBL we were paying around $0.82/L for fuel here in Canada. It's still right up around $1.19 where I live. Of course, now that the provincial government(which is the liberal party) allowed two companies to buyout the majority of the distributors I'm sure you can figure out what's happened.

Saudi Arabia (5, Interesting)

ihatewinXP (638000) | about 2 years ago | (#40425327)

Saudi Arabia is currently flooding the oil market to drive down prices in an attempt to destabilize the economies and governments of Syria and Iran and weaken their broker Russia.

More or less anything else that might be conjured up to explain this precipitous drop (aside from a worldwide recession that is driving down consumption and demand) is just nonsense. This is an odd byproduct of economic warfare. My only question is looking for the bottom so I can maximize returns after this economic war turns into a shooting one.

As they say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425597)

... an "expert" is just a drip under pressure.

Re:Saudi Arabia (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425605)

Bullshit. Barrack Obama *personally* lowered gas prices though sheer fiat of will. Newt Gingrich was going to do it if he got the Republican nomination, but he lost to Romney. Barack decided to just go ahead and do it since Michelle is busy with her book tour. Note that Mitt Romney doesn't have the power to make gas prices rise and fall--only Barack Obama and Newt Gingrich have this power--Mitt's magic underwear prevents it.

Newt gets his power from sucking the souls of the babies of the poor. Barack's power source is just sheer awesomeness.

This "supply and demand" stuff is just a big pile of bullshit, just like science, economics and compassion. That's why the Republicans don't believe in any of it. They just use "common sense".

Re:Saudi Arabia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425659)

USA and Saudi Arabia has agreements, including undisclosed ones. They might be acting together.

Re:Saudi Arabia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425665)

When gas prices are high it's because of Barack Obama's failed policies. When gas prices are lower it's because of market forces and deregulation.

Re:Saudi Arabia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425761)

Now you're getting it!! You could get a job at Fox News with skillz like those!

Re:Saudi Arabia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425641)

Also, this has no relation to half the OPEC countries just having major changes of leadership. Oh, I forgot, anything other than your pet theory is "just nonsense" right... sorry.

Re:Saudi Arabia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425739)

Major changes also are initiated by USA agents, and Saudi Arabia is major partner of USA. BTW, when it comes to partnership, USA forgets about lack of democracy.

Continues to fall until... (1)

PNutts (199112) | about 2 years ago | (#40425333)

Until the week of July 4th. Then they'll drop until Labor Day weekend. Halloween is a good holiday to go for a drive, except for the egg thing.

Gas prices peak in the late spring (5, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about 2 years ago | (#40425337)

Yeah, gas prices peak in the late spring around Memorial Day. Refineries have less capacity in May as they transition from making home heating oil in the winter to summer gasoline blends. Last winter was one of the mildest on record, so less home heating oil was needed. Also, cheap natural gas and popular migration to warmer areas of the country are leading to less use of home heating oil in the northeast. So refineries were able to stop making home heating oil earlier than normal this year. The gas price spike happened earlier in the year than normal, at a time that coincided with Iranian sabre-rattling about closing down the Persian Gulf. Now, as TFA mentions, weak economic growth worldwide is holding down demand, and prices are dropping.

Why does anyone listen to stupid news reports predicting future gas prices anyway? You only get on the news by predicting extreme change or extreme hardship. When you say it will be about the same as always, there's (magically) no air time available for that report. This goes for all predictions that masquerade as news. Predictions are not news, and no one know the future. Stop listening to them.

We need demand destruction. (4, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#40425369)

Demand destruction benefits the US enormously. We now export gasoline and now care about fuel economy.

Use less fuel, keep more of your money.

Not in my country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425391)

How much of this is due to currency fluctuations? The US dollar has risen in value against many other currencies lately, particularly against the euro. Since we're valuing oil in USD couldn't this be largely due to the USD value going up relatively?

Your dollar is buying more so imported goods seem cheaper.

Oil prices fall until after the election... (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#40425411)

after which the Saudis stop over-pumping. Before that, however, the "wall of oil" (http://www.safehaven.com/article/24788/saudi-arabia-aims-to-deliver-wall-of-oil-to-us-) promised by the Saudis has brought prices down enough to give a mild boost to the economy which insures Obama's re-election.

Fundamentally, nothing's changed. The amount of oil in the continental USA and the Gulf are still relatively trivial. We are and always will be dependent of foreign oil to maintain our current standard of living. This is a blip. Diminishing supply, and more importantly, lousy energy return on the world's remaining oil guarantee higher prices over time.

Price dropped $0.50 in 3 months? (2)

CompComp (1838698) | about 2 years ago | (#40425421)

Experts Agree: With this trend, by this time next year gas will cost $1.50, and 2 years from now, they'll be paying US $0.50 to take away a gallon of gas!

This is not new, guys (0)

Khyber (864651) | about 2 years ago | (#40425425)

Did everyone already forget our current Administration saying they'd try getting gas prices below $2.50/gal by election time?

Ahem, it's election year, folks. Pay attention.

Re:This is not new, guys (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425451)

Did everyone already forget our current Administration saying they'd try getting gas prices below $2.50/gal by election time?

Bullshit. Nobody in the Obama administration with any credibility with the media EVER said ANYTHING like that.

Newt Gingrich made some promises that sounded like that, though.

Re:This is not new, guys (1)

ewieling (90662) | about 2 years ago | (#40425553)

Did everyone already forget our current Administration saying they'd try getting gas prices below $2.50/gal by election time?

Please cite your source.

Re:This is not new, guys (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425635)

He confusing Barack Obama with Newt Gingrich. Easy mistake. I do it all the time. Black people look alike to me.

Quick. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425439)

Someone claim Republicans successfully destroyed the Communist Muslim Obama's plan to force us into capitulating to the Brown People over yonder.

In other news, Presidents don't control the price of gas.

what would help keep it this way (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#40425445)

Why the hell won't Obama make an executive order making it illegal to invest speculatively (so basically at all) in gasoline and oil? That would solve half the problem right there. It's a pretty damn direct path from my pocket book at the gas station to some asshole investor's portfolio balance when they buy up a bunch of gas just because they think it will go up and that makes it go up even more. It's a non-congress, simple executive order caliber thing and it really does sound like something that would be inline with his politics. Hopefully he reads slashdot lol.

Re:what would help keep it this way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425491)

How does an executive order prevent speculation in other markets, such as the London stock exchange?

Traders will switch markets.

Re:what would help keep it this way (2)

repapetilto (1219852) | about 2 years ago | (#40425533)

No that would solve nothing, you have never speculated on anything in your life. Stop talking about things you know nothing about.

Go find the correlation between Gas price and Gold price. It is steady since the 70s, you'll find pearson's R is above .90. It is all inflation/deflation.

Re:what would help keep it this way (3, Interesting)

repapetilto (1219852) | about 2 years ago | (#40425581)

Sorry R^2 is above 0.90. Pearsons R between average gas price at the pump in the US vs Gold/oz from Jan 1976 to Feb 2012 is 0.833. And pearson's R assumes a the most simple (linear) relationship. This has likely only become stronger recently. You can look at what gold and gas prices have done recently on your own.

Re:what would help keep it this way (1)

repapetilto (1219852) | about 2 years ago | (#40425611)

Well, I messed up the math but whatever (I have my reasons for failing), there is a strong correlation.

Re:what would help keep it this way (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425829)

George W. Bush got the price of gas down to $1.80/gallon when he left office [gasbuddy.com]. In fact, it came down quite fast; just four months before that, it was well over $4/gallon. A few months later, the Obama administration took over and got its stimulus bill passed as a first order of business, and the economy started growing again, albeit slowly. Through the second half of 2009 and most of 2010 the price of gas in the US averaged about $2.60/gallon. Near the start of 2011 the recovery finally started gaining momentum, and gasoline prices rose steadily to $3.90/gallon before falling back somewhat.

What does this tell us?

1. In today's world, the minimum nationwide price of gasoline in the US is $1.80/gallon. But we only should expect that when the world economy (not just the US) is pretty much dead in its tracks, and nobody is hiring (besides bankruptcy law firms, collection agencies and similar), firms are going out of business left and right, and nobody is speculating either.

2. When we're just starting to come out of a deep recession, and businessmen and consumers are still cautious and pessimistic, and there is rather little hiring except to replace departed workers, the nationwide price of gasoline in the US should be about $2.60/gallon.

3. When the economy is strong and businesses are hiring and consumers are spending on things like vacations, electronic gadgets and service plans, and nice clothes, the price of gasoline will be well above $3/gallon.

If President Gingrich could keep his promise for $2.50/gallon gasoline nationwide, that would put us in scenario #2. Be careful what you wish (or vote) for.

Re:what would help keep it this way (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425903)

Could turn it around and say why didn't Bush make an executive order to end speculation.

Purpose of the speculators it to create the market. The speculators will buy contracts and sell them to refiners at the end of the term (I don't know the right terminology sorry). Problem is there is so much speculation that the price is highly elastic wrt actual demand.

One suggestion I read was to force the speculators to take delivery of the crude when the term is up. Point is to make it so that speculators would have to build and pay for storage which would increase the overhead to do delivery. But the speculators were already doing this -- renting supertankers to store crude and have them sit out in the ocean or building storage facilities. Financial institutions are doing this. The only reason they will stop is if they get burned bad through the speculation, but you just know they'll research what went wrong and come back and try even harder the next time.

There is no good solution. You have to believe in the free market to deliver a fair price in the long term.

put things in perspective... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425541)

so is the gas price cheap compared to a year ago? two years? what about 5 years? yeah.. It's sad but gas prices are so high that even a $0.50 drop is not very meaningful.

I wonder... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425567)

Will those people who put signs up at gas pumps blaming Obama for rising gas prices put up signs giving him credit for the drop in prices?
Because the US President clearly has a whole hell of a lot of control over the price of a global commodity.

the day after election day (1, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | about 2 years ago | (#40425607)

No matter who wins, the day after election day it will go right back up again and then some.

Always... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425613)

Does this not *always* happen during an election year?

California (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 2 years ago | (#40425639)

Cheapest in my area (central coast California) is $3.85/gl and the California state average is $3.83/gl. Trending down, but still much higher than national average.

Overall, sustained higher prices will benefit the US in the long term. It's putting upward pressure on fuel economy so we're finally making progress catching up with the rest of the world. We have a long way to go still but it's improving. Electric cars are just starting to become viable for the American worker's commute, now price just needs to come down. They are still over twice the price of the ICE versions.

This doesn't seem so strange (1)

ComfortablyAmbiguous (1740854) | about 2 years ago | (#40425743)

In the mean time demand from Europe has fallen off a cliff, and demand from China has turned down. The US is not doing half the growth economists were predicting 6 months ago. All in all, it would be strange if we weren't seeing a significant drop in crude prices and the associated gas prices.


Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40425849)

Preferably in the Middle East !!

BP says, Jolly Roger Me !!
Cheney says, Fuck with me and I'll shoot you again !!
Bush says, yay !! can i play the red guys this time ??
Mobile/Exxon/Shell/Esso/Phillips/Conoco says, let's do it for the children !!

And Israel says, fuck iram !!

"Experts" (4, Insightful)

tyme (6621) | about 2 years ago | (#40425857)

Experts who claim that prices will continue to rise when prices have been rising, or continue to fall when prices have been falling, are nothing but weather vanes. These are the same idiots who have denied that we were in the last half dozen bubbles; the same idiots who were excited about DOW 30,000; the same idiots who claimed that stock/housing prices could just keep going up and up FOREVER!

Peak demand for oil happened in 2008 (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#40425863)

Peak demand happened in 2008, so supply actually exceeds demand sometimes. Technically peak production happened then as well, but so many people bring their own unrelated baggage to "peak oil" when it's just the maximum point on the production graph. In this case the decline has happened because people we unwilling to buy more oil, for mostly economic reasons, and to a much lesser extend which is only really kicking in now, because other sources of energy become increasingly popular the longer the oil price is high.
Personally I'm hoping for a very slow slide down the oil production graph instead of a sudden drop to nothing which is what some people think of with "peak oil". Before people start arguing about irrelevant stuff, you should note that's liquid oil, the easy to get stuff, not the more expensive per Joule stuff like oil from tar sands, shale, made from coal or whatever. That stuff will be our liquid fuel of choice only when mineral oil is scarce enough to be very expensive to obtain.

Re:Peak demand for oil happened in 2008 (1)

Ronin441 (89631) | about 2 years ago | (#40425905)

I'm hoping for a very slow slide down the oil production graph instead of a sudden drop to nothing

Typically production of a limited resource is approximately symmetric, so you can expect production of oil to tail off over about the same time period that it ramped up. There's no point at which we "finish" the "last" of it, but expect us to be mostly done with oil dug up out of the ground somewhere in the 22nd century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil [wikipedia.org]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubbert_peak_theory [wikipedia.org]

Always trust the experts (1)

neros1x (2492908) | about 2 years ago | (#40425875)

"Earlier this year, experts predicted higher gas prices....Experts have now flipped their predictions, and now believe prices will continue to fall." Would be more simply said, "'Experts' admit they have no fucking clue what gas prices are going to do."
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account