It may come as a bit of a surprise, but some of us here at Autoblog just don't fill up all that often. Imagine, then, our surprise when the gas pump spit out a receipt for a bit more than $82 after our last fill-up of the Autoblog Garage's parts-running truck. If this keeps up, we'll be changing our name to Pedalblog.
There are a couple of supposed causes for the recent jump in fuel prices - currently hovering right around $2.75/gallon in Michigan. First is the recent upward march of oil prices past the $66 mark (we were just getting ready to throw a party when oil dropped to $60/barrel). This is an artifact of global turmoil (too many people threatening to blow each other up) along with concern over insufficient supplies, even in among the Saudis.
The second stated reason for the jump in gas prices is the pending change-over from MTBE to ethanol. This occurs as the laws for gasoline oxygenates lapse on May 1 and refiners become increasingly reluctant to continue use of MTBE in the absence of federal liability protection (the additive has been blamed for a variety of groundwater contamination incidents).