Gas Jumps 6.5 Cents in One Day

Over the last month, OC's average price has climbed 30 cents. Speculators are increasingly blamed.

Get ready for more pain at the pump.

The average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Orange County rose 6.5 cents in a single day, to $3.90. That's 18.1 cents more than a week ago, 30.3 cents higher than a month ago and 11.3 cents greater than one year ago, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

OC gas prices, which have risen 34 times in the past 39 days, are the third highest in the state behind Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo County.

"The usual culprits are being listed as reasons for the spike -- high oil prices, Middle East tension, local refinery incidents and refineries being brought down for maintenance as they prepare to produce the summer blend of gasoline," said Jeffrey Spring of the Automobile Club of Southern California.

"But perhaps equally if not more importantly, say oil industry analysts, financial market managers see refined gasoline as a 'sure bet' for their clients' portfolios. Big investment money is flowing earlier and earlier into gasoline trading, ahead of the usual 'spring spike.'

"Southern California is a particularly vulnerable market for shortages because it has no inexpensive alternatives if local refinery production is down, and traders are aware of this."

-- City News Service

JustUs February 01, 2013 at 07:08 PM
Yep. Here we go again. The new LOW normal is $3.50. That's as good as it gets. NORMAL will be $4.15 (and that will move higher in the next 4 years to about $4.50) and you will see gas prices break through the $5 ceiling this year. You see, the government is printing about $80B in fiat currency EACH MONTH to keep the economy moving under something called "quantitative easing". King Obama has given his blessing to this. This money is deposited in the Too Big to Fail Banks that are allowed to collect interest off of it at interest rates that are MUCH higher than you would get. When more fiat money is infused into the economy it dilutes the value of your dollar and your purchasing power goes DOWN. That's why grocery prices are going UP and the food containers you see in the supermarket are getting smaller and smaller. YOU ARE PAYING MORE FOR LESS. Your medical costs are going UP. Your gas prices are going UP. You are getting screwed, stewed and tatooed. It's great to be an American these days, ain't it? Maybe we should invade Syria to stimulate our economy further. They do have oil over there, afterall. So it would be worth it. And we could do it under the guise of a 'humanitarian invasion to save the good people', like we've done before. It's all good. And that's why the foreigners all love us so!!! hah. :^)
Paul w February 01, 2013 at 10:16 PM
Yeah, I think it was due to that refinery in Africa, where the guy spilled a bucket of pure crude...Once the refineries got wind of that, it set off the usual panic and therefore the price hike...But, not to worry, it get back down 3 cents in 3 or 4 months time.
JustUs February 01, 2013 at 10:30 PM
Don't ya love these excuses they come up with, Paul? They must think we're a bunch of bait swallowing village idiots out here. A likely scenario is that a few oil execs got together with some DC pol clowns on some energy committee and promised them a few mil in campaign contributions if they could manipulate market forces to raise the gas price. After the 5th mai tai they all patted each other on the backs, gave each other the power handshake as they laughed while they all drove home drunk. Power settles most everything. We no more have a 'free market' than is there a tooth fairy who puts dollar bills under pillows. As far as corruption and underhanded deals, we have become worse than Mexico.
Paul w February 01, 2013 at 10:39 PM
JustUs, I totally agree!
Paul w February 01, 2013 at 10:49 PM
JustUs, honestly it seems like it takes something that simple to make a drastic change. The price per barrel last year or two years ago (when similar to current), yielded a much lower price on average than we're seeing now. So, it's like the "Crude Bosses" test us out once in a while to get our mood to a price swing and if we're not grumbling too much, then they keep pushing until we're threatening everyone and hurting small animals, then they bless us with a little drop for a month or two and like cattle we all just sit back and accept it.
JustUs February 02, 2013 at 05:15 AM
Of course, Paul W. These fascists know exactly how far to push the masses - and once they feel the heat they back off a little to settle the natives down - and then start to raise it again when the coast is clear. Humans have very short memories and they take full advantage of it. I bet they have a full group of psycho-analyists on board the oil companies who spend the whole day discussing the merits of Freud's 'Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego'. and how it can be applied to the price of fuel. The trick is basically - how to rob people without them knowing it? In my life I have never seen markets manipulated in America like they are today. The 'free market' is dead unless you happen to own a small business. Then the 'free market' is very much a reality and if you don't play by the rules you go out of business. But if you are a Wall Street crook or an oil tycoon you play by a whole different set of rules devised by the pols in DC. All this is very true. I can prove it.
A&W February 02, 2013 at 07:55 PM
Such whining! The cost of gasoline is where it is because of the free market economy we live in. In Venezuela a gallon of gas costs 18 cents, but the trade off is living under Hugo Chavez's rule. Here speculators on Wall Street and the sellers of gasoline and oil are able move their prices up and down to maximize profits. The stock market is booming and those who own stock in oil companies are very happy.
JustUs February 02, 2013 at 08:19 PM
"The cost of gasoline is where it is because of the free market economy we live in." That's probably one of the most ignorant comments I have seen thus far on these boards. The pols forbid pipelines and drilling sites to reduce production keeping prices articifically high. Recently we were paying $4.50 a gallon in California while other neighboring states were paying $1.50 a gallon LESS. And it had nothing to do with additives or switching over to seasonal fuel components or the shutdown of refineries. None of that was occurring at the time. It was all about gouging the consumer with higher articifical pricings and more in gov fuel taxes to save failing budgets. HIDDEN TAXES. Look at average price of gas when Bush was in. About $2.75 a gallon, even with the Iraq war. In the last 4 years that has jumped up to about $4.00 a gallon. There is no good reason for that besides gouging. The gov controls the future markets on oil. And there's massive manipulation. Wall Street and the gov works arm in arm. If you haven't caught on to that since 2008 you must be blind as a bat.
William Brownyard February 03, 2013 at 01:03 AM
everything is made with petroleum, cloths,food,tires,toys,you name, meaning what it should be a "government controlled utility" but after old man Bush blew JFK away for putting controls on oil no one will touch may they all rot in Hell....
A&W February 03, 2013 at 07:31 AM
If it were easier to import oil from the north, and we increased domestic production we would find ourselves increasingly less reliant on oil from the Middle East and South America. But what reason would there be to think that the oil and gasoline producers still wouldn't charge whatever the market would bear? I have trouble believing that they would charge less out of the goodness of their hearts. This is an international market. Prices in the U.S. are still less than in Canada (a net oil exporter) and in Europe. The oil companies will continue to look for every opportunity to create parity. Gas in California is taxed at one of the highest rates in the nation which adds to the cost disparity. And, as noted, our summer fuels have to meet stricter air pollution standards, which not only adds a bit to the cost but doesn't allow California to import gasoline from other states.
JustUs February 03, 2013 at 08:21 PM
A&W, the cost disparity between CA and the rest of the nation isn't $1.50-$2.00 a gallon. And that was the difference last year. No matter how hard you try to deny it, price manipulation is a BIG factor in how much we pay. These are not free market forces. They are a collusion between government and big oil, just like we've seen unmistakeable collusion between government and the big banks. If you missed that one you must have had your eyes closed and your brain shut down. If government colludes with big money bankers it stands to reason that they would collude with big money oil and gas producers.
A&W February 04, 2013 at 05:04 AM
There is no argument that can sway the opinions of anyone who believes in a massive conspiracy theory. If this government and all other governments of the U.S. from Reagan to Carter are colluding with the big banks and big oil, then you might as well stop worrying because there's nothing you can do about it. It's way too big. Pick another issue. One that has a solution. Unless you have a solution to this one.
JustUs February 04, 2013 at 05:20 AM
"There is no argument that can sway the opinions of anyone who believes in a massive conspiracy theory." The fact that governemnt colludes with big business is hardly a conspiracy theory. It's as real as 2+2=4. Anyone with an average IQ who watched how the economic meltdown happened and it's aftermath, and the massive collusion between government and big business understood the market manipulation and the outright criminal financial fraud that occurred which could NEVER have possible happened without active collusion between DC and the largest financial concerns in the nation. We know that Obama accepted multi-millions from the Too BIg To Fails, to include $1M from Goldman Sachs alone. And we know all about the revolving door between Wall Street, and the highest offices in government. You seem a little uninformed. I would recommend the documentary called "Inside Job" as a primer to educate you how collusion between government and big business works when there is big money involved. Oil is no different. I gave you a specific situation right here in California when we paid $1.50-$2.00 a gallon higher for gas than our neighboring states. And that happened long after the seasonal switchover for gas additives. You just don't want to admit that there is collusion between government and big business. You want to believe that it all has to do with market forces, even health care costs! HAH! Oh well, think as you will. It's a semi-free county.


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