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Kimberly Amadeo

Why Are Gas Prices Rising Again!?!

By February 4, 2013

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Hope you've enjoyed relatively low gas prices while they lasted. Like they do each spring, gas prices are rising again. However, this year they are going up higher and sooner than the past few years.  In fact, just last week the national average price of a gallon of gas rose 17 cents to $3.50 a gallon. This was the highest price ever for this early in February.

What's  causing these high oil and gas prices? First, the economy is improving. That makes investors bet that more people will be demanding gas and oil. To take advantage of future profits, they bid up oil and gas futures. In addition, companies that need oil and gas also try to lock in stable prices for the future, hoping to keep their costs low.

Third, some refineries are shutting down for maintenance in advance of the summer uptick in demand, while others have closed permanently. There's a bit of a supply shortage in California, so some fuel is being diverted. As a result, some analysts are saying that oil prices could beat their all-time high of $145 a barrel in 2008. (Source: CNBC, Consumers Taking Hit From Rising Fuel Prices, February 4, 2013)

It wouldn't be so bad if wages also went up to compensate for higher gas prices. This is what's known as a living wage -- the amount needed to pay for basic necessities such as food, housing and transportation. Actually, that's what the minimum wage is supposed to do, but doesn't.

In fact, the U.S. minimum wage is only $7.25 an hour, lower than in Europe and many other countries. Since increases in the national minimum wage have to be approved by a budget-conscious Congress, it just hasn't kept up with the cost of living.

How It Affects You

Gas prices usually follow high oil prices by about six weeks. Once gas prices go up, you can count on high food prices, about another six weeks later. Although there isn't much you can do to control high gas prices, you can  at least find out How You Can Predict Tomorrow's Gas Prices Today.

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Comments

February 5, 2013 at 6:38 pm
(1) lillyVonS says:

The consumer has been taking a hit on every thing. Cut down your usage of electricity so we do and what happens ? The utility companies raise there rates. Cut down on fuel, buy a fuel efficient car and up goes the price of fuel. Of course along with that goes the price of any and every thing, the reason being that it has to be raised because of the Price of Fuel, used in the trucking,manufacturing or what ever other plausible ,excuse they think the public is stupid enough to swallow.

February 6, 2013 at 10:38 am
(2) jaque lecock says:

you cant control gas prices but you can predict tomorrows gas price today……what a stupid useless article how does that help anyone seems to be same story everywhere….but people arent buying it weve been screwed over too many times to just take some after school special answer

February 6, 2013 at 12:40 pm
(3) PolitiKiller says:

It is time for a bloddy revolution. Power is the only thing the ruling class understands.

February 10, 2013 at 11:52 pm
(4) Alberto Agama says:

High gas prices are the result of price manipulation and especulation that should be investigated and crimanally prosecuted. The explanations written on this article are condescendent and partially true at best. Today I heard on ABC news that the price hike is due to gas refineries passing a cost to the consumer… It is a shame that there is no independent news presented to the American public.

February 11, 2013 at 11:07 pm
(5) Nicole Diestelmeier says:

I believe there are 3 things wrong with this country. One is that anybody who is somebody has gotten soooooooo greedy that they are ONLY worried about protecting themselves and making more money that they don’t care who it affects, and as far as Obama, I wanted to vote for him but honestly I didn’t believe a word him or the other guys said so I simply didn’t vote. It’s sad when you can’t even choose a candidate for president because they all are so full of crap that it’s not funny! Another is that people have become way to self indulgent, lazy, and conserned about they’re looks and what they have. With all the technology, hacking and creepers out there, I give this country another 20 years before something beyond repair happens! And last but not least, what is going on with people now a days. Not only is it gravely pathetic when someone goes in a school, let alone an elementry, and shoots children (to all parents of children of Sandy Hook, I pray for strength for you and you have all of my deepest sympothy) but the fact that our televisions can’t be turned on without hearing about all of these shootings or kidknappings, etc. It makes me absolutely sick! It’s not video games that are ruining our youth, it’s us!!!! It would be so nice if everyone had compassion and atleast the “natural” insticnt of humility but when you don’t even have to physically speak to talk to someone and there’s an app for everything(which is just making us more stupid, because it lacks the teachings of ACTUALLY having to figure stuff out ourselves) what can we expect?

February 11, 2013 at 11:12 pm
(6) nicole says:

Gas prices are rediculous! How do they expect us to survive. I think they need to worry less about theyre stupid money and think about someone else. Like hmmmm, THE PEOPLE WHO ARE STRUGGLING!!!!!!

February 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm
(7) Bruce Ewen says:

If you want to know how things work, watch the documentaries “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” and “Inside Job (2010).” No new refineries have been built in the U.S. in three decades. Shortages in gasoline can be “set up” by closings and so-called “needed repairs.” Although we are paying less for gasoline than those in Western Europe, it is higher there because of higher gas taxes, used to subsidize decent mass transit and inter-city railroads.
The auto and oil companies in the U.S. have engaged in conspiracies to either destroy (trolley systems in the 1930′s) or restrict public transit in the U.S. so we have no choice.

And, the Koch billionaire brothers and other one percenters have hijacked our government to keep things that way. The U.S. government belongs to all of the people in the U.S., not just the 1%.
We need to organize and stand up for our rights, demand that the rest of us be represented rather than taxation without representation for us and representation without taxation for the 1%.

February 12, 2013 at 9:20 pm
(8) Marsh Allen says:

Let’s see, Kimberly used this article to lobby for higher minimum wages. Guess her and Obama be buds. Well that goes without saying. So let’s make the minimum wage $50 per hour and make sure the average public sector employee makes $250k per year. That should take care of everything. I say we do it.

February 12, 2013 at 10:28 pm
(9) Chan says:

America goes only for money.No socialistic, no humanity, no understanding, no co-operation, no talking only goes for money. nothing else. America is only for one parameter in life that is money. Human life is beyond money.This is to be really unerstood in America.

February 13, 2013 at 3:14 pm
(10) useconomy says:

Chan,
Perhaps America is very good at making money. However, most of the people I’ve met in the U.S. (and in the world, for that matter) are caring, humane and cooperative.

Certainly some people are how you describe. It should be no surprise that many people who are completely focused on money wind up being very good at what they do. There is a lot of power in focus. However, you can’t judge an entire nation by what a few people do.

February 14, 2013 at 2:04 pm
(11) Chan says:

I say like that no talking,no humanity because 95% of total population are immigrants, it is very hard to propagate to people to come to understand the circumstances and act accordingly because people are of different dissent and from the different nation and it is very hard to make them understand the conditions and act to help for the good of the people of the entire nation.For all this to happen there should be whole co-operation from the public as a lot.That is all I said. don’t get me wrong kim.

February 17, 2013 at 8:47 am
(12) JTD says:

People wake up!!! Our wonderful government prints about a trillion $ a year. It has nothing to do with speculation , or oil company execs or anything else. INFLATION is what is causing the prices of everything to go up. Oil companies only make about .20 to .38 cents a gallon. Look it up. The gov takes .70 cents a gallon and does nothing for it. Research it , the truth is out there.

February 26, 2013 at 4:41 am
(13) jonathan says:

@Nicole Diestelmeier you’re so right about everything, i can’t nothing more.

February 26, 2013 at 2:06 pm
(14) JR says:

The problem with the presidency is that anyone who is intelligent enough to get this country on track refuses to work with a ship of fools.
There are to many decesion makers, to many votes by individuals in office that have no real experience in the real world, to much greed and way to much stupidity in our government.The American people need to vote on all major decesions, one rule, you must have an associates degree to vote on all decesions with the exception of votes on elections.

February 28, 2013 at 4:00 pm
(15) Hoopcoach says:

It’s a travesty that investors are allowed to manipulate the market as they do and drive up the price of fuel that will in turn drive up the price of everyday essentials as well. No one in government cares and is willing to control them and it is only going to get worse! In Orange County, California, we are paying just as much for a gallon of gas as Hawaii and this July, the energy commissioin is contemplating passing a new fuel tax inititiative that will cost the California consumer an additional 3.2 cents more per gallon of gasoline – this on top of $4.25 gas prices right now for a gallon of regular unleaded, but soon to climb even higher. Why the new tax intitiative? It’s to make up for the loss in revenue for the fuel companies due to more Californians using less gas due to more fuel efficient cars, driving less, purchasing less gas, etc…It just does not make any sense!!!!!

April 8, 2013 at 10:29 am
(16) Nicole Kearl says:

@ usecononmy, i am doing an essay on Gas Prices, i am from Richfield HIgh School, Utah. If you could give me your email or address to ask more questions to, i would sincerely appreciate it! Thanks in advance!

April 17, 2013 at 10:06 pm
(17) brent says:

we are being over taxed, its that simple, lobbying, oil companies, war, . . .etc. . .our political corporate government has ruined our beautiful country and the price of gas no mater how you look at it, is just another tax we pay to those in power

April 17, 2013 at 10:15 pm
(18) brent says:

back before 2001, this country helped people, it proposed peace instead of war, we insisted on sitting down everyone to the table to talk peace, . . if this country went under then, many others would have helped us back up. . . now those in charge force themselves on others, are quick to war with our neighbors, and plunder what thy can, . . if we fall apart now, we can expect other nations not to help us up, but to look for what loot falls from our pockets and to pick us clean, . . this new path we have taken has grave consequences, . . . .when the righteous are in power, the country and its people will thrive, . . when the corrupt gain power, the nation and its people will cry out . . . mark my words. . .

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