Gas prices predicted to rise

Sunday, March 14, 2010 | 3:51 p.m. CDT

Families planning trips for summer vacation might be shocked to pay $3 when fueling at the pump.

On March 9, the U.S. Energy Information Administration released a short-term energy outlook, which included pump prices for upcoming seasons. The Administration predicted  the average U.S. price for gas likely will exceed $3 per gallon at times during the 2010 spring and summer driving season.

Though Missouri's gas prices tend to be on the lower side of national averages, Missourians will not be an exception to this rising gas trend. According to Missouri’s March 4 Energy Bulletin, the statewide average retail price was already up 13 cents from the past month, and up 73 cents per from previous year.

But sometimes the variables that impact the prices of gasoline at the pump are hard to gauge.

“It’s impossible to predict what the price will be,” Michael Right, Vice President of Public Affairs for AAA, said.

Ron Leone, Executive Director for the Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, agreed. “No matter what the price is, no matter how bad it is, it’s usually lower here in Missouri,” he added.

According to the Energy Information Administration's report, gasoline prices also tend to increase during the spring and summer seasons. This can be attributed to good weather and vacations, which makes heavier drive seasons. The summer gasoline demand can be up to 5 percent higher than other seasons, the Administration reported.

The current average for gas prices in Missouri, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge report, is $2.60 per gallon. If the prediction proves to be true it will increase, but Right believes the increase prediction is based on “speculation that there will be a high demand for gas worldwide.”

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Mark Foecking March 14, 2010 | 4:37 p.m.


We should man up and accept that we're not an oil-exporting nation anymore (and haven't been since 1970). A European style tax on gasoline, to discourage consumption, should have been passed in the late 70's. If it had, our present energy situation could have been *very* different.

How much would you pay to have your car pushed 25 miles (or whatever miles/gallon it gets)? That's the true value of gasoline. We don't come anywhere close to paying it, and as a result, shamefully waste these precious fuels.


(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle March 15, 2010 | 2:13 p.m.

Wall street profits could have financed at least 5 Callaway II power plants. Instead, that money is used to speculate in the oil market, driving up fuel prices. I'm very happy to be riding a bike to work and back every day.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle March 15, 2010 | 10:24 p.m.

Jeff: The point is that corporate profits are not being invested domestically. Trickle-down economics is a bold-face lie. Allowing big pools of money to accumulate has not spurred investment in domestic infrastructure, it has not spurred domestic job creation. If I have to be a "populist" and raise the specter of the "corporate bogeyman" to make that point, so be it.
A few older links about speculation (circa 2008)...
And a couple newer ones...
So... why IS the CFTC moving to limit speculation? Why do so many articles tie speculation to price spikes? Why did oil prices collapse - by about 70% - when the market tanked in 2008 and money for speculation dried up? Demand only went down about 10%.
You can say it evens out prices, and is a potential for loss, that's true. But don't forget that commodity futures trading is generally profitable, and every penny of profit a trader makes on oil futures contracts ends up coming out of every driver's wallet.
We already do pay dearly for cap-and-trade, people... Just minus the cap part.

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