As Gasoline Prices Pass $3.81, Stranded Motorists Looking For Cheap Refueling Options Surge

Tyler Durden's picture

Following this week's ebullient UMichigan consumer confidence readings (which continue to diverge from reality as per Gallup, which oddly enough does not poll Wall Street CEOs who are always eager to give their economic assessment from the infinity pool while vacationing in Fiji) one would think that the price of gas had fallen of a cliff. Alas no. In fact quite the opposite. And the propaganda logic of the domestic ministry of disinformation, consumers in Hawaii must be by far the most confident as it is the state where gas prices are now at virtually all time highs, well ahead of the peak summer driving season. Businessweek reports: "Hawaii's average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline hit a nation-leading $4.46 on Thursday, 28 cents higher than second-place California. The national average reached $3.81, according to AAA data. Wyoming had the cheapest gas in the country at $3.53. As many states brace for gas to climb to $4, Hawaii was the first to reach that mark a month ago. The Aloha state's average on Thursday was 12 cents higher than a week ago, according to the automobile association." The weekly increase is double what the national spike for regular gas was, which moved from $3.750 to $3.818 in the span of a week (compared to $2.858 a year ago). And as the LA Times reports, the ongoing surge in gas prices has led many to paradoxical outcome of literally run out of while driving from station to station looking for the cheapest refuelling option.

For the first time since the record-setting gasoline- and diesel-price summer of 2008, there has been a double-digit increase in the number of Southern California motorists gambling -- and losing -- a bet that they will find a pump price they can live with before they run out of fuel. Experts say it's a common form of rolling the dice out of anger and frustration.

"When prices go up, people like to push it. If it is costing you $50 or $75 or $100 to fill up, that is real money they don't want to part with. They are hoping to find a bargain, and they push it further and further," said Jason Toews, co-founder of, a system of 185 websites where members post the highest and lowest prices they find.

AAA of Southern California says that an average of 15,600 of its members a month are having to make one of those mildly embarrassing "stranded, need gasoline" emergency calls in the 13 counties within the organization's jurisdiction. That's an increase of 12.9% over the first quarter of last year, and it represents the biggest jump since the California gas-price average hit the AAA all-time-high mark of $4.61 a gallon on June 19, 2008.

"It's happening again to a lot of people," said local AAA spokesman Jeff Spring. "Our presumption is that these current high gasoline prices have a lot to do with it."

The current state average is $4.191 for a gallon of regular gasoline, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report, which is compiled by the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express. That's up from $4.125 a gallon a week ago and just $3.112 a gallon at this time last year. Among states, only Hawaii, with an average of $4.464 a gallon, has more expensive gasoline than California.

And since in America denial is always the best strategy to dealing with any form of problem the AAA issued the following directive for its intellectually challenged, yet driver's license holding, members: "'E' for an empty gas Tank May Turn into a capital 'E' for Expensive repair." One could also argue that 'E' stands for 'Eliminate' the idiots who have gotten America to such a dire predicament whereby the benefit of the Poverty Effect for all is having a vastly greater impact on mass psycholog than the Wealth Effect for 0.1%. And for those still confused, the price of Brent crude has jumped by 67.4% since the Chairsatan's Jackson Hole speech, while the S&P is up just 26.3%.

Yet somehow we are positive that this now near boiling anger at the pump will translate itself into another record consumer confidence high next month courtesy of the Bizarro day spinners at the BLS and the Ministry of Truth.

And for those, like the Benzebub who never need to refuel, and wish to see a state by state breakdown of average gas prices can do so here.

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Pool Shark's picture


"As Gasoline Prices Pass $3.81, Stranded Motorists Looking For Cheap Refueling Options Surge"


Like a lot of our jobs, they're just going to Mexico:


Teamtc321's picture
Foreign Oil: China has a plan. We don't.

"And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as president: In 10 years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East."

— President Barack Obama

America depends on a number of foreign countries for oil that don’t have our best interests at heart. Countries like Venezuela, Nigeria, Iraq, and Angola are either from unstable regions or actively adversarial to American interests. Oil prices have come down from a year ago, but even though our addiction to foreign oil is cheaper, it is still a very dangerous addiction from a national security standpoint. We cannot allow foreign nations to control our security, environmental, and economic future.

Our elected guberment officials would rather argue over gas emmisions from FARTING cows and if the EPA has authority to tax the farting cows. Let's don't get our diesel transportation fleet burning natural gas with Clean Energy "ticker CLNE" or "WPRT." No, No, let's just keep kicking the can down the road and argue over farting cows and if we can keep raising our defaulting debt.

The only way I see this country waking up if they ever do even then, is fucking gas going to 50 bucks or a restart.

Sarc> I got it, let's just raise the debt ceiling to the moon or mar's and go buy the hell out of put's on all clean energy sources trying to make a difference for the world.

Shit better yet, the gal that was so excited she would never have to pay for her gas or mortgage again, let's elect her this round.

Ride a horse mfer's, we deserve it for being so fucking stupid letting this BS happen.

sarc off.... Not trying to offend any friends on zh with these comments. That's not my point but it just amazes me that our brain dead goverment has not woke the fuck up yet.

I'm going to go ride my horse if you junking me lol. I'm out......



QQQBall's picture

No need to ride a horse. If you don't like the prcie of gasoline, just buy another car.


Barry "Let Them Eat Cake" Soetero

Teamtc321's picture

No seriously, I physically went and rode my good cow horse. Went for a ride lol.

I love my physical silver and my good saddle horse lol.

I raise cattle/horses on the side, sound's like when this thing hit's the wall, all the good horses I have we can trade some for more silver with the price of gas at 50 bucks lol.

Diesel is going to ramp the fuck out of inflation friends. Our average food travels something like 1500 miles in this country to your store. Ouch, diesel fuel is a big expense on our economy. Nat gas works to power 18 wheelers, semi's also. We could atleast help our transportation with clean burning natural gas that we have huge supplies of right here at home.

Go look it up, Clean Energy, ticker symbol CLNE. It's a start anyway. We have nothing to loose and everything to gain by finally getting the green energy started and start now USA.

I have heard that Flying J, a truck stop is willing to install 15 system's on I-10 between east and west coast. Atleast our main passage would be open for transport with a fuel we have right here. Ryder, US postal and fed ex are now taking part as well. Nat gas is a ONSHORE resource we have also. Huge fields in Penn. N Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas etc. Here is a link to the fueling stations now.

Atleast tell our brain dead rep to get off there ass and push a plan finally. Even if this economy hit's the wall we atleast will have a supply from coast to coast for the re-start.

Here is a link to a personal pledge to push the plan.  

Thanks for not junking me to death while I was riding my horse lol.


MSimon's picture

I like this plan:

A motor with 60% efficiency. Funded by DARPA. Work at MSU.

Write your Cong. Critter and tell him to up the funding.


TruthInSunshine's picture

Let gas go to $10 a gallon.

In fact, I hope it does.

The sooner, the closer everything breaks down, and we get demand destruction of a proportion that should have happened a long time ago, that takes down the prices of most commodities by percentages that create purchasing power through deflation, so that a middle class can re-emerge that is able to provide proper food, shelter, education and health care for their children on a one-wage income.

tiger7905's picture

At least most of you aren't in Canada, it's currently $1.38/liter!

Works out to $5.22/US Gallon.

Better map of prices here for US:

williambanzai7's picture

I have lived outside of the US for many years and I am always amazed at the cheap fuel price when I visit home. But not for the reason you think. I am amazed at the stupidity and lack of foresight reflected in that low price. Every time the price rises this way, we are getting no benefit as a country. All the despots are pocketing the difference.

It would be different if we had an actual energy policy and the guts to impose a real energy tax at the pump.

But watching the current fiscal circus, you realize that this idea is a pipe dream. 


Rodent Freikorps's picture

Why would a local tax, at the pump, do anything more than empower the corrupt PTB that already exist?

What would it change, other than to make the middle class poorer?

Why is a poorer middle class a good thing?

williambanzai7's picture

No pain no gain.

When you wait for the current conditions to arise it is already way too late to do anything sensible about it.

We think there is energy abundance and there clearly is not. We send our young to pay for the illusion in war. And now instead of planning for what is coming, we are going to suffer through it instead as a country.

Obama's ten year goal is more empty last minute bull shit. Do you run your life the way they, the politicians, run the country? No of course you don't. If you did you would be a street person.


Rodent Freikorps's picture

Tell ya what:

We'll do that right after China and India tank their economies following that enlightened policy.

Right after.

sun tzu's picture

These assclowns think that if the government creates an energy policy, we will no longer have high prices or shortages. LOL

sun tzu's picture

So you're saying that the European economies aren't suffering from high energy prices due to their higher fuel taxes? The despots aren't pocketing money off the Europeans? So France and Britain with their high fuel taxes are really bombing Libya for humanitarian reasons?

Abitdodgie's picture

The european cars that Joe Sixpack drives do between 40-100 mpg, otherwise they would not sell.

steve from virginia's picture


Cost is relative, what matters is purchasing power. High prices are a form of rationing, the alternative is shortages and physical rationing.

We are long past peak oil on a dollar- for- dollar basis. This took place in 1998 when a barrel of WTI cost about $10. Those were the days, my friend, they might return but wages will be pennies a day. Forget the gas, nobody will be able to afford a car, no car companies will exist any more. This is the relentless logic of resource constraints and deindustrialization ...

Coming to a town near you and damned soon.

World's defense agencies suggest shortages beginning next year. Physical peak oil took place in 2005. Rates of decline are accelerating across the oil production ambit.

This decline in fuel availability at a price that allows profitable use which is the underlying cause of our current economic 'malaise'. Resource decline of the waste- based economy: there is no turning back no solutions no easy answers only bankruptcy, industrial insufficiency, currency imbalances, deflationary collapse and the end- game. Peak oil is simple: at some point, some(all) must do without.

The outcome is the class war, the redux of the Great Depression. This was and will be the silent struggle between the bloated 'Haves' and the rest. The war was fought with the only weapon allowed to the dispossessed: their willingness to hold currency and thereby give it value. This is behind the 'disinflation' strategy of central banks and their agents. Once the casino tricks are ignored and the bankers' 'easy money' blandishments, they fade away like the nightmares they are.

Business as usual is finished, kaput, dead: so are cars and freeways and idiotic 'mobility' and all that goes with it. The challenge is to adapt to the new reality or die.

Fuck the gas, get a bicycle.

slaughterer's picture

And now a moment for the opposite perspective from ZH (please junk it out of existence quickly):

Crude oil futures fell for the first time in four days on Monday April 18, after the world’s largest oil exporter Saudi Arabia said the global market had more than ample supplies of crude.  

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in June traded at USD109.55 a barrel during European morning trade, slumping 0.45%. 

It earlier fell to a daily low of USD109.33 a barrel. 

Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said on Sunday that the global oil market was “overbalanced” and that surging oil prices were “out of the hands of OPEC”.

Speaking at industry conference in Kuwait, al-Naimi said that Saudi Arabia cut its daily oil output by around 800,000 barrels in March to 8.29 million barrels per day, due to poor demand. 

His comments follow similar remarks made by United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Mohamed al-Hamli last week, who said that world oil markets remained “adequately supplied” and that “the surge in oil prices is a reflection of geopolitics but not the fundamentals.”



Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

Thank you WB--when are you making shirts out of your art? Try Cafe Press.

Spalding_Smailes's picture

Ripoff ......

I buy my shirts ( Haynes Beefy T's - 6.0 oz) wholesale for $2.50 each XL or L. The setup fee for the silkscreen is $20.00 and then each one color hit cost 45 cents per shirt.

For something in cmyk your looking at $ 5.00 max for the shirt and the four color silkscreen........ But I have been in the printing industry in Chicago for 18 years ( my family 40 ) so I have a few vendor contacts.

williambanzai7's picture

I have a shop on zazzle:

We settled on zazzle after looking at many options, including quality of product, pricing and convenience. I am sure the product could be done for a lower price if we cut out the middle man out. I wish I could do much better on the artists margin, which is basic to put it politely.

But then you would never hear from me because I would be on the phone all day long arguing with Chinese suppliers.

To all who have purchased so far, I express my sincerest thanks.


CrazyCooter's picture

This is awesome. It is also why I damn near blow a gasket everytime I talk to someone about debt/inflation/monetary policy/etc; most people are *ignorant* yet think they have a handle on the subject.

It is like debating the beauty of a rose garden with someone who is red-green color blind; they are simply convinced they are right because dammit, I see it right in front of me!

This is going to be such an ugly sh!tshow when it hits the fan...



zerozulu's picture

This is like explaining color Orange to a blind.

Chuck Yeager's picture

Actually, the pain is making people wake up.  As posts by Cognitive Dissonance said, people have a vested interest in Things Staying The Same.  If you tried to explain this perfect sh!tstorm coming, they would not only ignore you, they would mock you!

Ah, but things have changed...  All can see the dark clouds, they feel the pain in alot of new and exquisite ways. And they are questioning.  Their previously held belief system Is Not Working.

Our job then, is to be there at that moment.  To explain.  And to have some compassion.  They, like us, are only human, struggling to find happiness.  It is incredibly easy to le4t your Ego get in the way here.  ("Listen you idiot, you are going to lose it all because I am smarter than you and here is why!")   But this would be a mistake.  No one will think you are smarter.  They need a means to save face as they say in China.  Offer it to them.  I mean, people are working 12 hour days just to keep a job...they don;t have time to become informed.  And isn't the real goal here to inform and enlighten so that change spreads?

If we share knowledge AND compassion, then you, I and the others here at ZH can really make The People question Powers That Be, as well as their clowns (the Fed) and their tools (our federal government)

I am Jobe's picture

Thanks. Funny and true. I think i want to be supplier for this.

Confucious 222's picture

$4K+ for a casket when you buy 10?


I am Jobe's picture

Do you get a home or IPAD with a full tank. Lets ask Dudley.

Kickaha's picture


I have an idea for you which is way too good to just let sit inside my brain.  I have no skills with creating graphics or manipulating digital photos.  May I contact you somehow?

williambanzai7's picture

Sure, on twitter: @williambanzai7, on my blog: or on Flicker:

Kickaha's picture

I'll put it in a comment under the Bernank as Capt. of Titanic picture.

j0nx's picture

What's so sad is that probably the only people in the country that understand what this image means are already on this forum. The other 99% of Americans just blame the A-rabs and the oil companies.

oh_bama's picture

People on the board are too negative and unamerican!! They don't even support the FED, the QEs and BEN? WTF?

  • Be patriotic and send a thank you note to Ben, and ASK HIM FOR QE3!


williambanzai7's picture

I remember the fuel lines in the 70s. People were thinking all kinds of things. You watch, as the price goes up running into Memorial Day, the gas station is going to be a great place to get people's political attention.


oh_bama's picture
  • TAKE TRAINS TO WORK and help the environment!!
  • Ben---QE3 ASAP!! Economy can be even stronger with QE3! Just DO IT!!
Freddie's picture

Hope & Change.  Thank the fvcks here on ZH who voted for mugabe.

chubbar's picture

OT but please consider going to this site and signing the motion.

"On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government. Human beings are people; corporations are legal fictions.

We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to:

* Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.

* Guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and to have our vote and participation count.

* Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate "preemption" actions by global, national, and state governments.

The Supreme Court is misguided in principle, and wrong on the law. In a democracy, the people rule. We Move to Amend."

RichardP's picture

* Guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and to have our vote and participation count.

The U.S. Constitution does not grant people the right to vote for President.  That right/responsibility is placed onto the states.  We are a republic, not a democracy.  The members of the electoral college are free to ignore the votes of the people, although they usually don't.

* Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate "preemption" actions ...

Local communities exist only because the state allows them to.  The ability to preemt the individual or few for the common good is one of the fundamental powers of the Federal and State governments.  Protecting the commons is one of the main reasons that the Federal and State governments exist.

The Supreme Court is misguided in principle, and wrong on the law.

You have chosen to live under a government whose founders decreed that the U.S. Supreme court should be the final arbiter of the law as it is written (Congress is free to change the language of the law).  You are powerless to change this setup.  What you are free to do is go to a non-sovereign piece of land and form your own government.

Humans are flawed creatures.  All governments are created by humans.  Therefore, all governments have flaws.  We can't do any better.  Thus, the preamble to the U.S. Constitution:  We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union ...  Not "in order to create a perfect union" (that's not possible), but "in order to create a more perfect union".  One that is still imperfect, but that is better than what has gone before.

VisualCSharp's picture

The US Constitution does not "grant" any rights. It instead simply states what they are.

RichardP's picture

OK.  The Founding Fathers, through the provisions written into the U.S. Constitution, did not grant the people the right to vote for President.  They laid that right/responsibility onto the States.

technovelist's picture

You have chosen to live under a government whose founders decreed that the U.S. Supreme court should be the final arbiter of the law as it is written (Congress is free to change the language of the law).  You are powerless to change this setup.  What you are free to do is go to a non-sovereign piece of land and form your own government.

Where exactly is this "non-sovereign piece of land"?


sun tzu's picture

The law was flawed and unconstitutional. It also banned all political advertising within 90 days of an election. How can people get their message out to the public without advertisements? Most political blogs have to raise money through donations in order to survive. Money is speech. 

If you want real reform, then ban the little (D) and (R) behind the name on the voting cards.

s0lspot's picture

Well you organize debates on TV shows.

Political advertising...We dont have this shit yet in Europe. When i was in secondary school i got to be the class delegate coz i gave sour sweets to all the others. But we are adults.


What an insanity.

Pseudo Anonym's picture

the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S.

The supreme court was correct:

Rodent Freikorps's picture


We've had enough of the Supremes making Imperial law. They need to stick to what is written.