The San Francisco Bay Area always leads in cultural trends, technology, and gas prices. It may be mocked and marginalized as unrepresentative, but eventually the country catches up. As tourists stroll up the Panhandle toward the entrance to Golden Gate Park admiring the quaint Victorians of the past, the future interrupts at the corner of Masonic and Fell Streets. Self-serve unleaded regular has reached $4.18 a gallon.
The New York Times reports today on the confluence of factors causing oil to reach $114 a barrel while the average U.S. price per gallon hit a record $3.39. Diesel now averages $4.12, and the economy is beginning to feel the impact as prices rise to keep pace with increasing transportation expenses. Small disruptions to supply - pipeline problems in the Midwest and Nigeria and bad weather in the Gulf of Mexico - are having oversized impacts on the world market. President Bush's attempt to jawbone oil producers into increasing supplies has been rebuffed. Speaking of its oil reserves, Saudi Arabia's king said recently, "Let them remain in the ground for our children and grandchildren who need them."

[Source: New York Times]

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