August 31, 2005
-- by Thomas Leavitt
That was the sign on the door of the local independent gas station my wife and I regularly patronize (free soda or coffee with any fill up of $7.00 or more)... Beach City Gas (not to mention that the local owner pays his staff well for the job, and as a result the folks there are happy and friendly and personable).
Why did he close? Because gas prices just spiked by 37 cents a gallon, and the owner can't manage the risk associated with the volatility - he's shut the business down until prices stabilize or come back down.
Guess we can kiss $2.xx gas good bye for now (and maybe forever) - at least here in California (and a quick scan of Google shows that we're not alone, either).
Here's what theDepartment of Energy's measurements show: regular gas at $2.60/gallon (and rising), nationwide.
Here's where the betting is headed (Foresight Exchange)... note the recent price spike.
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... and how about them natural gas prices?
Kansas Gas Service officials estimate heating bills will rise 18 percent to 25 percent this winter from 2004, with natural gas costs per thousand cubic feet rising from around $6 last winter to anywhere between $11 and $15.
Guess my cousins in Missouri are going to be taping off their living rooms again (so they don't have to pay to heat them)... hell, maybe even a bedroom or two. :(
Posted by: Thomas Leavitt at August 31, 2005 1:54 PM
From what I was able to observe in Minneapolis, gas went from $2.59/gal to $2.99/gal between yesterday morning and 6pm today. This obviously doesn't reflect real cost increases (yet), so at this point I think the oil companies and gas stations are just seeing what they can get away with.
I remember the same thing happening on 9/11, with gas prices going up to anywhere from $3-$5/gallon for about a day. I think people have a good sense of when a price is fair or not, so perhaps a little public outrage will keep the free market in line.
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