Here we go again. This time, however, spiking prices at the pump have nothing to do with the price of crude oil, which continues to decline. It's attributed to the emotional reaction of "fuel traders." As the article attests, there is no gasoline shortage.
The gasoline stored in stations' underground tanks did not magically increase in cost, but the price at the pump immediately skyrocketed. No one in the gasoline "food chain" has yet experienced any monetary hardship, except the consumer. This is gouging. What other industry can survive with this business model?
We're used to summer reruns on TV, and we're just as used to the same old reruns from the petroleum industry in California — except the oil companies' story never changes. Each time prices spike, it's because of a minor fire, power disruption or a leak.
The refineries have slowly but surely started to chip away at the summer months' requirement for cleaner-burning gas. And politicians won't complain about it because it is a major source of tax revenue provided by an industry with major lobbying assets. We pay the price.
And how long will it be before the oil companies report record profits while we regular folks are still paying through the nose?