Once again, Americans are feeling pain at the gas pump. In a scene similar to last summer, the price of a gallon of gas has risen almost one dollar in the past two months. Back in March, we were paying about $1.40 a gallon. Now it's approaching $2.50. The cost is being driven by greedy speculators, who are turning the law of supply and demand upside down.
Gasoline reserves in the U.S. are at a 19 year high. And Americans are driving less, some 3.1 billion miles less in April of this year compared to the same month last year. But speculators ignore those facts, and are willing to risk our economic future in return for a fast buck by betting on oil futures.
They believe the global recession is ending, but that belief may be short lived. Even some noted economists are alarmed that the rush for profits could kill off any hope of an economic recovery. If the price continues to rise at this incredible pace, more and more of us are going to hunker down even more, and spend even less on other goods and services. And that will mean more job losses and continued economic pain.
Something needs to be done. Congress should seriously look at enacting new regulations to keep the speculators in check. Because if they don't, we are almost certain that the small economic gains we have made in the past few months will be washed away at the gas pump.
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WLOX-TV Station Manager