Fuel prices

The United States economy has been on the up-swing over the past year and a half, but recent data shows that economic growth is slowing and unemployment is once again creeping upward. That certainly isn't good news, but but those factors are starting to take their toll on the fuel prices... for the better.

The price of a barrel of oil dropped by $9.44 on Thursday alone, lowering the price below $100 per barrel for the first time in two months. According to the Associated Press, the per-barrel price reportedly dropped further to $97/barrel early Friday, and the trend may not reverse itself any time soon.

Some analysts feel that we may see some relief at the fuel pump, with prices dropping to an average of $3.75 per gallon by Memorial Day, and $3.50 by mid-summer. Currently, the price of a gallon of petrol rests at about $4.00 per gallon nation-wide, though many areas are paying much more.

That's great news for commuters, but the New York Times Green blog points out that the precipitous price drop was less of a trend and more of a market correction. Demand for oil in India and China, the two countries with the highest population by far, continues to grow at a substantial rate. That means any substantial drop in demand over the long term is unlikely. At any rate, the price of a gallon of gas should drop a bit in the near future, and at this point, we'll take what we can get.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 68 Comments
      tritonstrategies
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's a sad day when we're showing relief at $3.50 per gallon.
        Ok
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tritonstrategies
        $3.50 isn't too bad. The work you get out of a gallon of gas is easily worth that much. That will get you 25 miles or so on your schedule when and where you want to go with up to 5 passengers typically. You'd spend more than that for 2 people to go 25 miles on a city bus. Or, put another way, would you spend $3.50 to avoid a 6 hour, 25 mile walk, or a hour plus bike ride? Using 6 hours of your time to save $3.50 is like working for 60 cents an hour. (I'm ignoring all the other automobile costs of course, but still..)
      Making11s
      • 3 Years Ago
      This was driven by unsubstantiated speculation. Like all things driven by unsubstantiated speculation, the bubble had to burst.
      artandcolour2010
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't think this report takes into account the yearly post-Memorial Day rise in prices. Even if crude goes down per barrel, the oil companies will raise the prices for summer anyway.
      poopoohead100
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yay! Maybe I'll buy a new car in the summer. Perhaps a new Mustang...
      Rambo
      • 3 Years Ago
      $4.09 for premium around here. I don't complain much though, since I just got back from Israel where gas is $10.25 a gallon. Filling up my rental car cost more than $120! Honestly, I'm only paying a dollar or two more to fill up my car than I was when I bought it last year. There's not much I can do about it, and I can't stop driving, so I just suck it up and move on...
      Jim R
      • 3 Years Ago
      Maybe if they'd allow us to increase the supply, that would soften prices a bit. You know, all that oil we have in the Gulf that we can't use anymore, the oil shale in the Rockies that we aren't allowed to use, the oil in Alaska we aren't allowed to use I know you greenie weenies hate the idea, but if you want oil prices to go down there's only one effective way to do it--DRILL BABY DRILL.
        High
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jim R
        Yeah hurry up quick, lets use up all our resources! That way when everyone else runs out we can be right along with them.
        artandcolour2010
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jim R
        who cares about the rest of the world, right? who cares about future generations, right? who cares about anything except that you get to fill your mega SUV with cheap fuel, right? "Drill baby drill" is the shortest route to the end of oil, and the world's economy, period. But as long as you get to drive your gas guzzler, who cares, right?
          longducdong
          • 3 Years Ago
          @artandcolour2010
          Why ASSume he drives a "mega SUV" or a "gas guzzler"? The guy makes a point... drill here with our plentiful reserves, and become less dependent on foreign supplies.
        bkj216
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jim R
        We can drill all we want, and supply all kinds of oil, but if OPEC wants to restrict the amounts of oil they want to produce each day in order to drive up profits, then we can't do anything about it.
          montoym
          • 3 Years Ago
          @bkj216
          When you aren't buying as much oil from them because of increased supplies elsewhere, that will certainly have an effect on oil prices regardless of what OPEC decides to do. That said, OPEC is not the powerhouse it once was and there is plenty of infighting amongst OPEC nations which makes it tough for them to follow a singular production goal. The past 2 oil price increases we've seen in recent times (this year and 2008) were not caused by OPEC. OPEC has been pumping out as much oil as anyone could want, we don't have a supply problem currently. The primary issues are varied but they include a weak US Dollar(which oil in priced in), rampant speculation, and geopolitical issues primarily in or near areas where oil is a primary export.
        gork
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jim R
        You can't increase domestic supply without OPEC cutting off equal amounts of oil. Since oil markets are global (the US exports some 2% of its oil production) there will be no relief unless some nations within OPEC decide to break their agreed quotas. The reason why we're not using oil shale in the US, is because it requires more water to extract the oil from the rock, than the oil that is extracted, and there is no cost-effective method for them to filter their waste water. Without strict environmental regulations, that waste water would kill all life downstream and permanently pollute entire ecosystems with lead, arsenic and other dangerous substances. Are you volunteering to live downstream of oil shale extraction sites?
          montoym
          • 3 Years Ago
          @gork
          OPEC nation break their quotas all the time. That's part of the reason why OPEC is not the powerhouse it once was. They don't control quite as much as people give them credit for. Also, as I noted above in another comment, there is plenty of surplus oil floating around right now and OPEC is still pumping out plenty more. If they really wanted to restrict prices, why wouldn't they cut their production now to reduce these high supplies which we've had for quite a while now? http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5911afe0-305d-11df-bc4a-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1LaRpAKTQ http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/energy/6823486.html
        Ok
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jim R
        There is only so much oil in the U.S. (and the world) Do you want to drill baby drill for it now so we can have $3 gas instead of $4 gas? Or do you want to save it for the day the world has no other sources left? Save our stuff for the rainy day in 30 years when oil is $500 a barrel and buy it from abroad now while they are still willing and able to sell it at a comparatively cheap $100 a barrel.
      IBx27
      • 3 Years Ago
      $3.50 is still way too much. Put it at $2.00/gal and cap it there. I've had enough of $40,000,000,000/year profits for price gauging companies.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        [blocked]
        bomgd3
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        And how exactly are we going to cap gas prices? Run the oil companies into the ground Atlas Shrugged-style? Spend taxpayer dollars to subsidize gas more? How low is low enough? Adapt to higher gas prices and move on with your life.
        gork
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        The reason why the oil companies have such high profits, is because they have a fixed profit percentage in their processing, which is to say that they're always going to earn record dollar profit amounts when oil prices go up, and likewise their profits will always shrink when oil prices drop. They're not gouging anyone. And if you're in favor of capping gasoline prices, that's socialism, and will lead to a gas shortage as refiners quit the business because it is not cost-effective for them to work under a cap.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        [blocked]
        IBx27
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        Thanks Gruv, as for everyone else note that I'm a red-blooded American, and I've had it with politicians letting all of this go. It's called speculation and massive tax breaks for massive companies. They make a lot more of a profit when gas goes through the roof, and that's profit, not money going in. Profit, after costs. Everyone should pay one fixed percentage of tax, no matter how much or how little you make.
      Daekwan
      • 3 Years Ago
      I still believe the answer is to become more fuel efficient as a whole. The gasoline engine is well over 100 years old already. Why are vehicles still so inefficient? Oil itself is not a renewable energy resource, which means every barrel of oil we use is one that will never be replaced. Sure we can dig more and find more of it to collect, but logic tells us eventually it will be dwindle, eventually it will be non-existent and eventually we will have to find another resource to use as a fuel. With all the technology thats available to us, why are still seeing the average vehicle get about the same average mpg as it did 30 years ago.. even 50 years ago in some cases. Years ago, I had a gasoline 1992 Honda Civic DX which was non-hybrid that was rated at 42city/46hwy. Currently I have a 400hp C6 Corvette that will 18/28.. which is excellent economy for a vehicle with is power rating. Shouldnt more vehicles be like this? Shouldnt more vehicles be pushing the hybrid envelope? Shouldnt more vehicles become dramatically more fuel efficient with each new generation. I'll be happy to see the day when all vehicles are hybrid efficient or electric power. Not only will be relieved at the pump, but as Americans we can end our dependence on foreign oil and greatly reduce the problems/issues that come with that dependence.
        bobmarley
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Daekwan
        you must not be paying very close/any attention. The entire auto industry for the last few+ years hasnt focused on anything else more than fuel eficiency. Everywhere you look in the auto industry its green this, hybrid that and up to XX hwy mpg's. Also, past vehicles were not as safe so your DX would probably lose in a head on colision to a smart car. So you have all the extra safety standards that add weight along with time for R&D which is obviously easier said than done...I'm sure Ford would put out a 50mpg ICE F150 if they could
      Number23
      • 3 Years Ago
      America has the largest recoverable fissile fuel reserves in the world and America could enjoy far lower gas prices and greatly reduced foreign dependency but the unwaivering efforts by the left to cordon off America's mineral wealth. http://www.marfdrat.net/2011/04/04/the-u-s-has-the-worlds-largest-energy-reserves-why-arent-we-using-them/
        Ok
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Number23
        The link Number23 provides is to a rightist site, but from there you can click on the link to Congressional Research Service report and that's legit. They are the non-partisan research arm of Congress. But while what Number23 says about our total fossil fuel reserves is true according to the report, what he doesn't mention is that 90% of the U.S. total is from coal. Until we have coal power cars, or, more likely, a clean and economical way to convert coal into a liquid motor fuel, the U.S. having the largest fossil reserves doesn't really mean much. And it's also proven reserves, which boosts the U.S. total just because the U.S. has been more thoroughly investigated for fossil reserves than many other nations. But the bottom line is Number23 is correct that we do have a lot of fossil fuels in the U.S.
        Ryan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Number23
        Sorry, but I can't take any article that uses words like "porkulus", "eco-idiot" and "president dufus" seriously. You derail your own argument by stooping to the level of a 6 year old calling people names... As for oil shale and methane hydrates, yeah, they're there and potentially useful until you consider the enormous amount of energy and work it takes just to extract them in the first place. The Rockies hold huge amounts of oil shale but its all amazingly difficult to extract at any reasonable pace and cost, which is exactly why its not being done yet. Its not economically viable. The same goes for methane hydrates. The stuff is literally a mile under water and can explosively decompose back into gas as its warmed and depressurized. That explosive methane decompression in the form of a gas pocket is what killed off the Deepwater Horizon and started the spill in the Gulf. Your fissile 'typo' (Freudian slip?) is fitting though, because we do have plenty of Uranium to use for nuclear power if people would stop fearing the nuclear boogeyman.
      Pexxor
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow, $3.50/gallon is a real bargain! In Sweden we currently have to pay $8.90/gallon :-(
        bobmarley
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Pexxor
        My brother said he paid $4.60/gal in Hawaii (which is part of the US) and I thought that was high! $8.90 would make me think twice about going anywhere!
        hmmwv
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Pexxor
        Yeah but here in the States we have to pay for our own healthcare and education.
        The Angry Intern
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Pexxor
        Yes, and your country is 21 times smaller than ours, and you have a vastly superior mass transit system so you probably drive a fraction the amount of miles the average American driver does.
          aatbloke1967
          • 3 Years Ago
          @The Angry Intern
          "Yes, and your country is 21 times smaller than ours, and you have a vastly superior mass transit system so you probably drive a fraction the amount of miles the average American driver does" What absolute twaddle.
          Jonathan Arena
          • 3 Years Ago
          @The Angry Intern
          And why do you think that is?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Pexxor
        [blocked]
      Killuminati
      • 3 Years Ago
      Speculators had a field day on the stock exchange yesterday, selling off oil futures to put more into silver. And as a result they really dragged down the market. Silver was down, oil was down, the market was down. Get rid of 'speculation' and you get rid of the price problem at the pump simple as that.
      lne937s
      • 3 Years Ago
      I mentioned this on the other side, but if you want to stabilize prices, you need to put a disincentive on speculators. Our relatively low capital gains tax is justified by encouraging capital investments in companies that build and do things, adding to the economy and creating jobs. Commodity markets should be for people who supply and use commodities, not speculators. Commodity speculation raises and destabilizes prices to producers and consumers, while using money that could otherwise be used to invest in business or buy things. Commodity speculation hurts the economy. As such, capital gains taxes on commodity trades should be at least as high as the highest tax bracket, or at least 35%.
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