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The basics of supply and demand, even in a market as curated as global petroleum is, are fairly easy to understand. Today's example: southern California, where some stations are beginning to run out of gas due to "refinery supply problems" at both Chevron and Mobil, reports USA Today. The result? Prices could hit $5-a-gallon soon. AAA says that the average in California today is $4.486 a gallon, well above the national average of $3.789 and making a run on the $4.61 record from June 2008.

Recently, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) predicted that rising gasoline prices could lead to a savings of $14,376 for commuters in New York City who choose to switch from personal to public transportation. However, keeping that amount of coin in one's bank account may not be as simple as it first seems.