Sunday, September 2, 2012

Eye spy the gas price rollercoaster about to coast down like a parachute

...but not until the day after tomorrow, when the holiday weekend is over.* WXYZ has the video report.

Gas prices to drop in September

I haven't seen the slight drop Julie Banovic described where I am, but the prices here never went as high as they were at the gas station where she taped her report. Since the previous installment on the gas price rollercoaster, prices have gone both down and up. I predicted that the station on the corner nearest my house would lower its price. It did. A few days after that post, it dropped the price of unleaded regular to $3.85, exactly the same as those of the three stations a few blocks away that never raised theirs. Then, last Wednesday, all the stations in the area displayed prices of $3.99. You can thank a combination of Hurricane Issac closing refineries in the Gulf, a refinery fire elsewhere, and the Labor Day weekend. The bad news, on top of the price rise, is that the prices haven't budged locally. The good news, as WXYZ reported, is that prices are expected to drop this month. I think WXYZ has it right.

What if prices stay high? WOOD-TV, which usually has smarter reporting than WXYZ on energy and the economy, describes what could happen then.

The state attorney general warned stations not to price gouge

According to this clip, the $3.99 that stations near me were charging was a fair price, but the prices a dime higher that other stations, both in Grand Rapids and in Southfield, were selling their gas at were not.

As for Bill Schuette, who is SchuetteOnDuty on Twitter, I'm glad to see that he is enforcing consumer protection laws. Even so, I'm somewhat cynical about it. After all, he's a member of a party that is a bunch of fossil fools who are in the pocket of the oil companies and who deny climate change. He's looking forward to replacing Governor Snyder when OneToughNerd retires, either in 2014 (early retirement or defeat) or in 2018 (term limitations), so he needs to be enough of a populist to maintain his electability. Here's to his ambitions making him actually serve the residents of Michigan, at least occasionally.

*Yes, that title is too cute by half, but I'm having fun with this month's theme.

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