Tonight I paid the most that I have ever paid for gas. The prices here in California have been skyrocketing.
How much did I pay? Well, I didn’t buy gas near where I work, then I would have had to pay 31 cents a gallon more than what I paid close to my house. Luckily for me, we usually have much less expensive gas than in cities closer in to the Bay Area.
I will apologize in advance for the quality of the pictures tonight. I did not pay any attention to the settings on my camera. I just wanted to capture the images 🙂
I did a quick calculation. I saved $4.46 by buying gas near home instead of near work.
I was tempted to only fill the tank half way up as the forecast is that gas prices will soon be dropping. However, I know how the gas prices drop. They drop like a feather, not a rock. If gas prices drop by 10 cents a gallon over the next week I would only save about a dollar and a half. If they drop 20 cents then I save three dollars. The time that it takes to stop and fill the tank is worth more than that, so I filled it all the way up.
So, why are gas prices so high? The news reports that there was a problem with a delivery pipeline and that one of the refineries went off-line. We are also recovering from a shortage caused by a refinery fire earlier this summer. This has caused supplies to be tight and of course supply and demand dictates that with low supply and high demand that the prices go up.
What affect are the high prices having? More people are taking public transit and BART had record ridership over the weekend and they have had much higher than normal ridership for the past several weeks. I have a friend who has a long commute who is contemplating retiring if the prices go any higher. His savings in gas would offset the difference between his current salary and his retirement pay :-). Of course price increases will cascade through other products as the price to deliver them has gone up.
When will we see relief? Hopefully soon! There are several factors at work that will bring prices down. We are making an early switch to winter gas that is cheaper to manufacture and that price decrease should come in the next several weeks. The refineries that are down should come back on line and the pipeline is back in operation. I also wonder how the upcoming elections are affecting the price of gas? Are there political reasons for the gas prices to go up or down? Probably, but we won’t go into those reasons ;-).
So, all of you in the US outside of California enjoy your gas that is less than four dollars a gallon, but remember that four years ago you were most likely paying less that three dollars a gallon.