Doug's Blog: It's getting crazy at the gas pump

By Doug Walker - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - I don't know about you, but I continue to be amazed at the price of gas.  In less than three weeks, prices have gone up 30 cents a gallon at the pump.  In simple math terms, if you have a 20 gallon tank, you're now paying $6 more when you fill up than you were paying at the beginning of October.

This is crazy. The law of supply and demand is not at play here. I have railed about this for months. But fortunately, I am not alone.

At this point in the blog, I am posting a portion of an article that was printed last week in the Los Angeles Times.  Here is the excerpt:

"That was still no justification for oil to be close to $80 a barrel, said Fadel Gheit, senior energy analyst at Oppenheimer & Co.

Gheit said Wall Street speculators were again driving up the price of oil futures under the assumption that the Obama administration was juggling too many other issues, such as the war in Afghanistan and healthcare reform, to devote serious time to pushing for tougher regulations on commodities trading. 

"We still have an oil glut. We still have weak demand. More than half of the recent increase in oil is speculation and not supply-and-demand fundamentals," Gheit said. "People are brushing aside everything we learned last year from the collapse of the economy and oil prices."

My point exactly. Speculators need to be reigned in by Congress.  Our economy is still too fragile to support $80 plus a barrel oil, up from $65, in less than a month.  If these increases continue, more people will be laid off, and more families will suffer.

So what can do you, you might ask?  Contact your congressmen and senators and tell them what you think.  Urge them to pass new laws that regulate the  speculators that are damaging our economy and standard of living.

Why should the feds get involved? Because the speculators have apparently not learned any lessons from the Great Recession we are just starting to emerge from.  To quote an old but timeless piece of advice, "If we don't learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it."

Is that what we all want?

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