Gas prices headed lower
The Energy Department and AAA predict a drop this year, but they don't account for variables like storms or wars.
For perhaps the first time since the fiscal cliff debates began, the government has come up with an item whose price won't increase in 2013: gasoline.
Thanks to high supply and weakened demand, the average price per gallon should fall to 5% to $3.44, according to the Energy Department. That's still well above the dreaded $3-a-gallon mark and the third highest average fuel price ever, but it's 19 cents lower than last year's record $3.63 average.
It's also an average savings of $205 per household in 2013, which theoretically could put $25 billion back into other areas of the economy -- or, you know, into Americans' savings. That's assuming the Middle East doesn't flare up again, the hurricane season doesn't yield another Superstorm Sandy and the nation's refineries stay open and keep running at capacity.
It also ignores the expiration of last year's payroll tax deduction, which increases the Social Security levy from 4% to 6% this year and will cost households making $40,000 to $50,000 an extra $600 in 2013, according to the Tax Policy Center. Also, the Energy Department's recent history with this kind of prognostication has been spotty at best. In 2011, it predicted average gas prices around $3 just before Libya's revolution halted oil production and drove the national average to $3.53. Last year's prediction was $3.45, which also fell more than a little bit outside the mark.
AAA is steering away from the government annual average and, instead, is focusing on upcoming fluctuations in fuel prices. While AAA's average U.S. gas price sits at $3.31 per gallon, the motorist organization predicts that price could go as high as $3.80 this spring before dropping to $3.20 in mid-summer. That would be the lowest average gas price Americans have paid since February 2011, but may be short-lived depending on what hurricane season brings.
Of course, those prices are also still highly contingent upon where drivers live. Right now, drivers in Utah have the lowest gas prices at an average $2.88 a gallon, while New Yorkers are still dealing with Sandy's aftermath as they pay $3.75. One region's year of cheap gas could be another area's fuel crisis.
More on Money Now
Gas should be at about $1.75 to $2.00 a gallon right now. The reason it isnt is because of way too many things to list. People claim it isnt political, but politicians are to blame for most of it.
They can and should write a law that takes oil futures off the market. Trading in futures is keeping the price inflated and making the rich political donors even richer.
Next, allow refineries to add capacity. The New Liberal hates the idea, but the economy is stuck right where it is until we start seeing gas prices where they belong. The EPA is killing this county and costing every person living here thousands of dollars a year. Why do we accept it? We shouldnt.
Now, here is the big one. Use the oil we have here. Drill it, refine it and sell it. If that doesnt kill the market profit grabbers, nothing will. It is hard to shore up an inflated price when there is more of a product than we can use. Import and use domestic. Imagine the price battle we'd see then. It would definately put free market back in oil. Remember how it used to be? It could be like that again. Imagine gas stations lowering their prices to compete with the other stations instead of raising their prices to keep up with other stations.
The biggest scam / rip-off in the history of the world: oil companies get oil from public lands, our oil, then sell it back to us at $4 a gallon or whatever price they feel like that month. They are all nothing more than a bunch of market manipulating Enrons.
fzcleve bull we have plenty of oil nat gas and coal let's use it 5 million jobs energy independence bring our troops back from the middle east makes to much sense fz
The Oil Barons,
Lest we forget, one of the biggest crooks to ever come down the pike in our industrial age was none other than John D Rockefeller. In the late 19th century his tactics and ploys created the Standard Oil Co which consolidated all aspects of the petroleum industry... from the wellhead and the transport of crude to refining and the retail of gasoline. He became the world's very first Billionaire in 1892 and his strategies regarding the petroleum industry literally wrote the 'play book' for all of the oil barons who have dutifully followed in his footsteps. As it was 120 years ago, it remains true today. The obscene and enormous profits of the oil industry enable it to purchase all of the power in high places in order to dictate petroleum business policy and to maintain their gluttonous profit-imperative at all costs. If he were here today John D would be very proud indeed of his legacy.
Peace to all ~
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the Wednesday session on a mixed note. The tech-heavy Nasdaq displayed relative strength, climbing 0.4%, while the S&P 500 added 0.2% with five sectors settling in the green. For its part, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.2%) spent the entire session below its flat line.
Equities started the midweek affair on a rather unassuming note in the absence of market-moving news or economic releases. With those pieces missing from the equation, ... More
More Market News
4 analysts downgrade the stock the day after a disappointing quarterly report.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'