Gas Nozzle

Monday, February 23, 2015 – 09:00 a.m.

California driver’s are getting burned at the gas pump as usual.

As matter of fact, gasoline retailers and wholesalers aren’t even making an effort to control how fast prices go up. In some case retailers have bumped prices as much as 10 cents overnight, in some cases.

The most recent bottom for the March 2015 Futures Contract for West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil (WTI) was $44.37 per barrel.

In early morning trading on Monday, the price for the very same contract was $49.31 per barrel.

That’s essentially an increase of $4.94, or 11.13%.

Retail unleaded gas prices in Eastern San Bernardino County have increased from a low of about $2.19 per gallon to $2.89 per gallon. The low was in January and, might I add, after the new carbon tax became effective on January 1.

A tax that added roughly 10 to 15 cents per gallon to the retail price of gas.

The difference is an increase of 70 cents, or 31.96%

I used ARCO as a comparison because the company is a deep discount detergent gasoline.

So, in reality, retail gas prices have increased roughly 21% more than the price of crude oil.

Even though there is a refinery strike in-progress, most of the affected facilities are operating at normal levels, with management and trained temporary workers reportedly filling in. But let’s not forget the ExxonMobil, Carson Refinery fire last week. An expected event by many, that required no one having to be transported to the hospital.

The big question was which company would have to fall on the sword to help prop up prices.

Then of course there’s the “we’re shutting down the refineries for maintenance” ingredient.

Lastly, we’ve all heard about the cut in oil rig counts leading to the rise in oil prices. The only problem with this excuse? Domestic U.S. production has actually increased.

All of this, while oil production has witnessed a 38 million barrels of excess global production in the past four weeks.

Some should be asking questions here. Because the numbers certainly don’t add up.

If California driver’s think they’re getting screwed, they are!