Gasoline prices drop across the nation

Daily rises at the pump seem to be a thing of the past — at least, for now.

Gasoline prices dropped a penny overnight to $3.56 in Houston today, and the local average is up only a penny since last week. Over the past month, gas prices are up 17 cents as crude oil prices rise.

Texas saw prices edge down a third of a penny to $3.59, but the statewide average has risen 2 cents as spring break nears. Nationally, the price is hovering around $3.76, a rise of 2 cents over last week’s average, according to AAA gas gauge.

However, analysts warn those drops are likely to be followed by steady rises as the Memorial Day weekend approaches. Analysts have forecasted the national gasoline average could top $4-mark by the holiday weekend.

Gasoline prices have been rising since the New Year because of tensions with Iran, three northeast refineries closing and growing global demand have helped push crude oil prices higher.

“To a great extent, you can blame the tens of millions of people who have moved from Third World poverty into something approaching the middle class,” said Tom Kloza, the chief analyst for Oil Price Information Service. “Those folks need fuel for transportation, agriculture and industry.”

As prices rise at the pump, public anger has been directed at three familiar targets: President Barack Obama, oil companies and Wall Street traders.

Kloza said it is unfair to blame any president or oil company for the rising price of gasoline, because they do not set the price of the commodity. But, he said Wall Street might bear some responsibility.

“I believe that the financial asset-ization of oil — the huge expansion of paper markets for crude oil and gasoline futures — is a culprit,” he said.

However, Kloza said the situation provides a double-edge sword.

“The high prices that have been bred by investment and speculation in oil have brought increases in North American production,” he said. “But those high prices also hit people on the margins of society in their wallets.”

18 Comments

  1. TheRealRick

    Tell that to the Texaco station at the corner of W. Dallas and Dunlavy.

    #1
  2. Oscar Juan Carlos

    Obama promised cheap gas, but instead is trying to make us buy $40,000 eco-cars!
    He needs to get all the banking gas speculators that he bailed out to stop raising prices because the wind is blowing the wrong way in Trinidad…

    #2
  3. OLD FOGEY 74

    Let’s see, gas is up by over 100% since Obummer took office while he and his energy secretary chortle about how we should be pleased since it makes alternative energy sources more competitive. Now the price drops by $0.003 per gallon (roughly 0.08%) and we are supposed to celebrate while he flies around the country for campaign appearances on our nickel using literally thousands of dollars worth of fuel per hour in AF1. I feel like I’m in the court of the Queen of Hearts.

    #3
  4. olddispatcher

    Uh, you seem to forget that the Bankers were bailed out by G. W. Bush.

    I wonder if prices will crash if a buyer is found for the Sunoco refinery in Philly?

    #4
  5. byrd

    her eis the truth from USA today….too bad the chronicle wont report that Big Oil is taking us all to the cleaners

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2012/02/us-exported-more-gasoline-than-imported-last-year/1#.T1jvqPWD-RY

    #5
  6. indiggity indig

    the failed ill-conceived policies of the republicans created the conditions that allow speculators and rogue regimes to make a tremendous amount amount of almighty dollars – next time you pay a c-note to fill your escalade..thank a republican.

    #6
  7. Peter North

    Price went down a penny or third of a penny and that is considered a “drop”? New normal will be $3.50.

    #7
  8. SaltWaterCroc

    Old Fogey – gas is still cheaper than it was under the previous administration (remember $4.50 gas? I do). And if you think the President single handedly controls the price of gas, I have some Gulf shrimp I want to sell you. Alternative energy is the way to go, as are more fuel-efficient cars. And if you are so concerned about the fuel in AF1, ever wonder how much fuel we burned in Iraq, or how much will be burned in one race on Perry’s F1 race track?

    #8
  9. scott

    saltwatercroc, gas was cheaper under the last administration than the current one; do you remember $1.13 gas? I do.

    #9
  10. AlgaeObama

    “Gasoline prices drop across the nation”
    ========================================
    must be all that algae from the recent wet weather.

    #10
  11. PSI-Obama

    “Gasoline prices drop across the nation”
    ========================================
    must be all those free campaign tire gauges.

    #11
  12. PainAtThePump

    “Gasoline prices drop across the nation”
    ========================================
    I blame Bush.

    #12
  13. Paul

    scott, the last adminstration INHERITED $1.13 gas and turned it into over $4.00. That’s WHEN AND WHERE the precedent was set.

    #13
  14. Diane

    Gas was cheaper with the Bush admin, it did rise to over $4.00 a gallon after Katrina, but once the boats were able to get back into Louisiana and the other states like Mississippi and Alabama were able to produce again, it dropped back down to below $1.75 gallon. As far as Bush doing bail-outs, if I remember correctly after the current President was elected in November, he had meetings with Bush and convienced him to do the bail-outs and sign for them, because he did not want to come into office in January and have to do an emergancy bail-out. Of course, people seem to forget about those meetings and Bush agreeing it would not be good for the American people for it to wait. But we all know the rest of that story from the bail-outs. It seems that the oil prices and gasoline prices have been the highest since our current President has been in office. All I can say is I see why people are not in a hurry to get a job, because it will cost them too much to drive to work, it is easier to sit a home and get the unemployment check and not buy a tank of gas. I have a 15 gallon tank and it is now almost $45.00 to fill up. That hurts the pocketbook.

    #14
  15. El Foley

    It would be nice to have a rational discussion on the price of gas. A good start would be to quit harping on gas “doubled in price under Obama”. While this is technically true it is totally misleading. Remember that oil went from $145 pb to $30 pb due to the financially induced economic crash. Now if you want $1.89 per gal. gas we could accomplish that with another lesser depression. Remember that the cure for high prices is high prices.

    #15
  16. Ed

    Obama should of have been a car saleman–he wants every American to buy a Chevy volt ???Thats his energy policy..

    #16
  17. Firmgrip

    A scam and a lie once again put upon you by Big Oil and Wall Street. The law of supply and demand still reins. Cut your consumption and watch the prices drop. It’s simple.

    #17
  18. Dan X. McGraw

    Diane, Katrina didn’t cause a significant long-term increase in the cost of gasoline nationally. During 2005, gasoline broke the $3-mark just once — Sept. 5, 2005, which is the weekend after the hurricane hit. For the next two months (or until Oct. 24, 2005), gas prices remained higher — around $3.50 — than just prior to the storm.

    Gas prices peaked about three years later (July 17, 2008) at $4.11 nationally. Prices haven’t topped that record high since. As for high oil prices, it is globally traded commodity so president and politicians have little power over the price.

    #18