Crude Down, Gas Prices Up - Huh?

. Monday, February 16

Get this! As if we weren't gouged enough last year so that Exxon et al could make record profits, it's happening again this year. The excuse is different, but the end result is the same - higher prices at the pump.

Crude prices have dropped, so you'd expect pump prices to follow. Instead, it's a matter of which crude prices have dropped. As it turns out, the price per barrel of crude that we are privy to is based on the stuff produced by West Texas Intermediate. That crude is the primo stuff, and it is now less expensive by about $10 per barrel than the crap stuff we import. Of course, the stuff that "we" import goes to the refineries along the east coast and into our gas tanks. West Texas is sitting on stockpiles of the good stuff.

Even though the premium, less expensive stuff is sitting there, refineries can't get to it because of the limited pipelines. Refineries around the Gulf are connected, but that's it, and there's no plans to build more. Why? Because there's no guarantee that pricing will stay as it is for very long, with a year the projected length before things return to the way it was.

Adding insult to injury, and keeping our gas prices rising, the refineries have slashed production so that they aren't sitting on product no one is going to use. Because of this, the price at the pump should reach $2.50 by spring.

The reasons be damned. Exxon is still raking in record profits. Now tell me who holds the reins to the economy!