And It's Not Even Summer: Gas Jumps 19 Cents In Two Weeks, Less Than 10% Below All Time High

Tyler Durden's picture

According to the latest Lundberg survey the average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States has moved closer to $4, jumping more than 19 cents since mid-March to a level less than 10 percent below its all-time high. And it's not even peak driving season, which typically sees a seasonal jump of at least 15-20% from early spring levels. Per Reuters: " The Lundberg Survey said the national average price of self-serve, regular unleaded gas was $3.765 on Friday, up from $3.573 on March 18, and up 91.3 cents from $2.852 a year ago. Prices in several western U.S. cities are already above $4 per gallon, led by San Francisco at $4.13. Chicago was close behind at $4.11 a gallon, the survey said." What is not surprising is that demand saturation is starting to set in, meaning refinery margins are now going through the window: " The national average would have been higher had refiners and retailers not resisted passing on rising crude oil prices as customers grow less willing to pay what it takes to fill their gas tanks, analyst Trilby Lundberg said in an interview. "Demand has been falling at these prices," she said."

From Reuters:

The record high average pump price is $4.112 set on July 11, 2008. Lundberg tracks roughly 2,500 gas stations.

Crude oil prices are higher amid unrest in Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East, as well as a weaker U.S. dollar, which on Friday fell to a 15-month low against the euro.

A falling dollar often lifts dollar-denominated commodities such as oil. This is because some investors use commodities as an inflation hedge, and consumers who use other currencies may view the commodities as cheap and buy more, driving up prices.

U.S. crude <CLc1> settled Friday at $112.79 per barrel, after earlier reaching its highest intraday price since September 2008. ICE Brent crude <LCOc1> settled at $126.65 per barrel, the highest settlement since July 2008.

Even if crude prices do not change, Lundberg said pump prices could rise another dime per gallon as earlier increases work their way into the retail market.

"One gets a little bit depressed talking about it, but we are getting closer" to a $4 per gallon average, though "there is no telling" when or whether it will occur, Lundberg said.

The average price for diesel fuel did top $4 per gallon for the first time since 2008, rising to $4.09 from $3.978 three weeks earlier, and $3.056 a year ago, according to the Lundberg survey, which is done in Camarillo, California.

The lowest average price for a gallon of unleaded gas in the 48 contiguous states was in Tucson, Arizona, at $3.41, Lundberg said. San Francisco had the highest price.

What is certain is that with a several day pass thru lag between crude and
gas prices, following WTI hitting $113 overnight, it is guaranteed that
this week we will see a $3.80+ handle in gas prices. How that will impact the economy is pretty much obvious to everyone except the 3-4 algos and few NYU POMO interns who are left trading the centrally planned capital markets.

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Long-John-Silver's picture

The second crash is underway. Amerika shuts down @ $4 gasoline.

ZeroPower's picture

Or perhaps smart minds will finally be putting their scientific capabilities to use i.e. non-reliance on oil for getting around.

Long-John-Silver's picture

The laws of thermodynamics can not be legislated. "Energy Density" Google it. There is no such thing as a 100 mpg carburetor or an alternative to oil and coal. Without them we go back to Horses and Mules.

cossack55's picture

Lets do it.  However, all my buried PMs fell into a new crevass yesterday. Still, lets do it.

Ahmeexnal's picture

Now's a good time to learn how to ride a horse.

Long horsebreeders and mounting gear manufacturers!

cbxer55's picture

Horse riding ain't free, gotta feed the buggers.

And someones gotta do the poop scooping.

I recall years ago, when I use to do Friday and Saturday night cruising on Lancaster Blvd., the cops had switched from cars to horses for patrolling the streets. And they used to leave big steaming piles on the sidewalks in front of all the businesses. I tell you, they were not happy campers when confronted with big piles of horse shit early Monday morning! ;-)

The horses did not last long.

OutLookingIn's picture

Why not?

Free fertilizer for the veggie garden!

Energy in - energy out!

Zina's picture

Oh, I see... It's "impossible" to create a technology with higher energy density than oil.

So, humanity is doomed, since oil won't last forever. Nor coal.

The fossil fuel era was just an "accident" in the human history, just a "gift" that humanity received to "quick start" the industrial revolution, but it won't last for more than 3 centuries.

Chump's picture

If some grand new technology or energy source isn't created/discovered/whatever before oil becomes prohibitively costly (in terms of energy input) to suck out of the ground, then humanity as we know it is certainly doomed.

Human life as it currently passes on this planet is not possible without the black stuff.  That's just the way it is, and we are all going to be made painfully aware of that fact when the forced withdrawal starts in earnest.

Mad Max's picture

Is there a natural law that personal transportation has to weigh over 3000lbs, be made of steel and seat five people?

The US approach to transportation is blind to any alternatives.  And we built most of the human landscape around this dumb approach.

aerojet's picture

This is the problem I see everywhere--what you see and what you experience has everything to do with big government setting rules and regulations in order to be a kingmaker.  Everyone in the Boomer generation believes this clever lie and *that* is why the US is failing to make any true progress anywhere.  I acknowledge that there are certain physical limitations to automotive design, but cars are what they are today because of the NHTSA and lobbying, not technology.  We want a technological future, not some bullshit fascist one.

nkktwotwozero's picture

>And we built most of the human landscape around this brilliant approach.



I like money.


sethstorm's picture

As far as the US is concerned, yes.  As a US citizen who drives a 3600lb, long-lasting car from General Motors, I have no apologies for the efforts made against the golfcart companies.  What I do resent is any purposeful action (or lack of action) to drive oil up.

If you want to get people to use alternative fuels in their cars, perhaps you should try a a familiar package; stop trying to cram horse-pills down their throat with all the transplant manufacturers. 


Not everyone likes to have countries where one class of people get their own cars, while the rest go in golfcarts. 

FreedomGuy's picture

I agree with you and one of my cars is a Mini Cooper. I used to have a large SUV because I pulled a camper drove over rocky mountain roads, etc. People pulled horses, hay, etc. in my boats and rec equipment. I don't believe San Fran and NY should be the arbiters. Let fuel seek its own unmanipulated price. In my city, now there is light rail. People will adapt at different fuel costs and also just the difficulty of moving around. People don't train/subway in and through NY just because of fuel prices. It's also because of traffic and population density.

People, driving habits and energy supplies will all adapt quite nicely based on price inputs from the market. The best thing is actually to leave it alone and let it work itself out. I don't want German and British priced fuel (about $8/gallon) because of government tax add-ons for our good.

Mad Max's picture

What if all we do is tax gasoline enough to pay for the portion of our defense budget (roughly 50%) attributable to our self-anointed status as the world's oil policeman?

We'd probably have $8 gas right there.

FreedomGuy's picture

I'm good with that as long as we tax their gas, not ours. Let's change their price inputs. We can call it "protection money". Wait a minute, someone else uses that phrase...

Ahmeexnal's picture

They can seat up to five people, yet upwards of 80% of circulating vehicles carry only the driver.

FreedomGuy's picture

That's our choice. Plus, we don't have traffic laws and patterns that are conducive to scooters.

aerojet's picture

Butanol has nearly the same energy density as gasoline.  I guess you didn't Google quite enough. 

malek's picture

Every time someone brings up the laws of thermodynamics for reasoning on everyday practical issues, you know the person is talking garbage.

trav7777's picture

ROTFL...if I had a nickel for every time a nonsmart person said that.

As if because you can imagine it, they should march out and "solve it."  Thanks for doin the hard part for us lol.

Smart minds are going to drub you on EROI and thermodynamics but you'll ignore them because they don't state a happy outcome

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

Gas over $4.00 in many stations in central Fl for mid grade

blindfaith's picture

Yes, and with the great state of Florida's new " elect me and I will make jobs" Republican governor (who has laid off or fired over 6,000 in a scant few months), I say...ain't those minimum wage jobs, Florida is so famous for, going to be hard to fill when the net take home pay is less than the cost of actually going to the job?  He did nix mass transit in favor of you figuring how to get to work on your own.... if you need a job.

Now, that is being patriotic, taking money out of your pocket to contribute to Florida's GDP, or GOP as the case may be.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

blind (n) faith..get the fuc* off zh..with your clap trap socialist biased soros spin..if you cannot see there are not 2 parties in America you are blind to the scam ..get lost or grow up.

r101958's picture

Well said overmedicated. Also, the 'high speed rail' plan was not about mass transit for people to get to work. It was about boondoggle and letting D.C. get its claws into Florida.

Rick Masters's picture

So a comment in favor of mass transit in the face of $200 oil is socialist cause he criticizes the GOP? Did you take you meds today? In any event, Florida sucks.

James's picture

What them commies don't tell you.......................................................

Floridas light rail was to go from Tampa to Orlando twice daily.

Taxpayer paid for Amtrak currently runs twice daily from Tampa to Orlando.


aerojet's picture

Well, the monorail at Disney World, which was so cool in the 1980s, now feels trite and dated.  And if you want economic recovery in FL, laying off government employees is a very good place to start.

sethstorm's picture

Only if there is a private sector to receive them.

Otherwise, it's just envy.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

Maybe just a little bit of envy, but mostly anger is my guess.

...the average federal worker earns $101,628 in total compensation -- including wages and benefits-- compared with $60,000 for the average private employee.

gcjblack's picture

So far, gasoline pump prices haven't kept up with increases in crude oil prices. Average&city2=California&city3=NewYorkState&crude=y&tme=12&units=us

Soon, the pump prices will be increasing again.  If you look at crude oil prices as ozt Gold per barrel, there has been virtually no inflation in crude oil prices for some time.

  In reality, the price of oil fluctuates and inflates due to the instability in the US$.  With the higher costs in Saudi Arabia, and a deflating US$ (due to the Bernacke Put), the American people (and the rest of the world) is in a squeeze play.  Costs in Saudi Arabia are going up (causing oil price inflation), the US$ is loosing ground against other world currencies (causing oil price inflation), and Bernacke is doing QE and printing (causing oil price inflation, as US$ is worth less & less).  This results in oil price hyper-inflation.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Think global act local is going to get a whole new meaning in the months to come. When you don't drive 50 miles for a lark and a sandwich, you tend to do somethign within walking distance. We'll see a permanent change in spending patters as this unfolds (Oil $200 is inevitable this year).

But the thing to watch will be airline/flying costs go through the roof and demand destruction there. That will be change to behold. No more leisure travel, all the two-rist dependent economies......tch!


ZeroPower's picture

While i agree higher (though $200 this year is inconceivable) oil is inevitable, obamao has no doubt some tricks up his sleeve, namely tapping the US own oil reserves to stabilize markets.

We know the recession starts all over (or continues, whatever you want to believe) again at ~$150, and in a looming election year, i bet the admin will do everything in their power to ensure "All is Alright". Hey, maybe that'll be the boss's hip new slogan. You know, to get the minority vote and such.

duo's picture

Tapping the SPR or rebalancing the GSCI are tricks with a short half-life.  Barry had better save those for right before the election.  Use them too soon, and the blowback will be worse than doing nothing.

Long-John-Silver's picture

The oil reserve is for war. Obama will be starting a 4th war and will need it.

EscapeKey's picture

It's also worth noting a large part of the "reserve" actually counts what's inside the pipelines at any time.

r101958's picture

'Will be starting' should be 'has started'.

aerojet's picture

Right, and Wikipedia backs you up on that fact, but Bush II used it for politcal purposes, so there you go.  Everything is political, or another way of saying that is:  Nothing the government can do is outside the realm of the political, so beware!

trav7777's picture

"stabilize" the markets?  They are stable.

Demand will needs to because it's got to catch up to waning supply

r101958's picture

yes, demand will wane, and with it the 'recovering' economy. 'Growth' is predicated on ever growing supplies of cheap energy. That is not to be had anymore.

Oh regional Indian's picture


Plus, cheap/free energy is the Midas's curse of our time..


Chump's picture

You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.

ibjamming's picture

I used to drive farther than that...for a wonderful shredded beef more.  I also got 7% back then more.  Yup, high energy prices mean hard times ahead.



MachoMan's picture

Last time this happened, everyone thought all the airlines were going the way of the dodo and that air travel would be prohibitively expensive for the masses...  I see no reason this time will be different...  eventually, the higher oil prices will be prolonged enough for them to finally keel over.

Ahmeexnal's picture

Are you saying airlines are in better shape now?

Many have indeed gone the way of the dodo, and those remaining are flying zombies.

MachoMan's picture

No, I'm saying that whatever hasn't finished them off stands to do so again...  That we've failed to prohibit this danger...  (not that it's possible).

Seems like last time they were saved in part due to booking fuel prices well in advance...  anyone got the skinny on whether they did so again?  If it's a temporary flare up, then maybe this gives them a temporary reprieve...  However, I fail to see any ability to outlast these structural issues...