I have written in the past regarding gasoline prices and have always avoided blaming the oil companies for what are perceived as unwarranted price spikes. But something has happened in the last few days that is making me wonder.
Last Sunday I filled up at the local Mobil station and paid $3.49/gallon. Then I suggested to my daughters that they fill up, figuring that Hurricane Sandy would cause prices to go up. One daughter called me to say that the price of gas at the same station the next day was $3.69!
Knowing the floor of the stock exchange was closed yesterday I checked some financial data to find that the price of gasoline futures for November delivery had gone up only 6 cents/gallon. So what was the basis of the 20-cent increase by Mobil? Why are these increases left unchecked? Does anyone have any reasonable explanations besides "market factors" or "supply and demand"?
Paul M. Lyczak