Speculation on Pump Price Fluctuations

Published on

Associated Press
January 14, 2008

by Associated Press State & Local Wires

Daily changes in the price of gasoline at the pump leave many
consumers angry and frustrated. Angry because consumers have little
control over this area of their lives and frustrated because they don’t
understand why prices at the pump can fluctuate on a daily basis.

A 2006 study by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights
found corporate markups and profiteering were responsible for price
spikes, not rising crude costs as the oil industry claims.

Only two years earlier, Graziadio Business Report from
Pepperdine University blamed demand and speculation for the increase in
the price per barrel of crude oil, but said the price of gasoline
increased by a larger percentage. The authors of the report speculated
the price of gasoline may be explained by limited refinery capacity and
structural problems.

According to a report by the Associated Press earlier this
week, light, sweet crude for February delivery dropped $2.51 to 95.40 a
barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the third
consecutive day oil prices had declined. However, at the pump gas
prices rose 0.2 cents overnight to a national average of $3.106 a
gallon, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

To whom or what can consumers attribute the rising cost of
gasoline? There is no one answer, although supply and demand may be two
of the biggest contributors to the rising cost at the pump globally.
Americans have not significantly decreased the amount they drive,
however many consumers are considering the purchase of hybrids and
other fuel efficient automobiles when buying a new vehicle.

Time will tell whether this trend continues or goes the same way as the Gremlin during the mid-1970s.

Consumer Watchdog
Consumer Watchdoghttps://consumerwatchdog.org
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