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Gas Gives You Indigestion…

October 5, 2012

Hey, let’s chalk another one up for California, where gas is hitting well over $5 a gallon in isolated areas.

In Southern California, the price jumped 20 cents a gallon overnight to $4.53 in Ventura. And in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area prices went up 19 cents to nearly $4.54. And it wasn’t any better to the north, as a gallon of regular gas in San Francisco averaged nearly $4.60.

In many areas, prices have jumped 40 cents in a week as refinery problems have created shortages and helped send wholesale prices soaring. Some stations ran out of gas and shut down Thursday rather than pay those costs.

Even Costco, the giant discount store chain that sells large volumes of gas, decided to close some stations, the Los Angeles Times (lat.ms/OGwEV2) reported.

The last time we had a spike on the West Coast, it was a refinery fire in Washington that took out a four-state region and raised prices over $4 for much of the area.  We all breathed a sigh of relief when we got down to “only” $3.80 or so.  Well, no more.  So far, the price hikes haven’t spread too far north, but it’s likely only a matter of time as supply gets constrained and demand remains high.

Wholesale gas prices have risen by about a dollar in the last week, while retial prices are lower, so again, expect that this will result in further hikes.  In the bygone Bush Administration days this would have likely been a call for three-quarters of the nation to start whining about how much money big oil makes and how it’s tooootally unfair to the little guy, and all that.  Right now?  It seems more like a belt-tightening, go-buy-a-Volt-(PLEASE!), we-all-have-to-make-do attitude.  Well, call it a tax on the poor and middle class, or call it bad policy.  Either way, it’s costing a bunch of people much more to live a daily life.

I wonder how much play this will get in the next month?  Oh, right, I don’t wonder.  Probably very little.  I wonder why…

Pardon me while I go take a loan from some guy in a suit so I can make my drive today.

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