Shane reports that a Belmont gas station selling regular for $2.97 this morning was selling it for $2.89 a gallon by lunchtime.
Three weeks before Election Day? They could've waited another week. :)
Gas prices always seem to drop fast right before a major election in this country, just not this fast lol. I wonder if the plan was in the works when the economy hit the skids and now its just out of control. Id love to be in the room with Opec right now, I wonder how frantic they are.
What caused the rise in oil prices was excessive speculation. Those speculators were betting that demand (not just for gas and heating oil for consumers, but for the manufacturing and transportation of goods) was going to keep climbing. In fact, what's happened is that people ain't buyin' shit, so manufacture and transportation are way down, so there's less demand for oil. Less demand equals lower prices.
That, and traders were looking for quick profits to make up for (and perhaps pay off) their bad housing bets. Hence, $147 for a barrel of oil and $4 for gasoline, which finally put a crimp on personal spending, as most of the discretionary income was going to fuel.
Demand collapsed when people conserved and soon enough those bets on profit became huge margin calls for traders, who either had to pay up to keep the bets or cash out. Also, the damage from Gustav and Ike wasn't as bad as traders feared, so they cashed out those bets too.
Rising and plummeting gas prices need not happen on an election year. Reference Katrina in 2005, where gas prices spiked because traders thought there would be extensive difficulties getting gas to the market. By November, prices returned to normal, which by then was $2.05 a gallon.
It's always healthy to have that, "what's the catch?" attitude, though.
Here are the gas prices for some selected stations...
SP Petrol: $2.69/$2.79/$2.99
Best of Boston: $2.69/$2.79/$2.99
Shell: $2.83/$3.05/$3.15 (42 cent premium for full serve)
I remember after the 2006 midterm elections, they rose a little bit, but by February they plunged to near $2 a gallon before they went up again to $3 by mid-summer.