Again in the Belleville News-Democrat and other news were more reports on how the gas prices have been falling for the last couple weeks and should continue to drop to at or around the $2 range. What all these reports need is an asterisk for the St. Louis area market where prices not only haven’t dropped but climbed back to their already high levels they have been at all year.
There is no shortage of oil, gasoline, refining capacity, or any other reason to keep prices high except for one, profits. Oil is below half what it was last year at this time when it was around $110 a barrel and gasoline was at $3.79 a gallon. Now it is less than half that for oil at $45 a barrel and yet we are paying $2.79 a gallon, at that rate it is the equivalent of paying $6.82 a gallon for the same gas if oil were to be back at $110 a barrel.
To maximize those profits further many are raising the price between grades. As oil costs less, the cost between grades decreases, those prices also should be declining and instead are climbing too. Times are tough and those gas prices hurt those with the least to spend. This is one more way our economy is hurt by these high prices. How much profit is enough big oil?