For months consumers and the media have more or less been ignoring prices at the pump. But a 6% spike in July now has the media up in arms. Already there are calls for President Obama to consider tapping the Strategic Oil Reserve, and politicians are seeking to stamp out the mysterious "Evil Speculators" who seem to be behind every rise in crude.
Dan Dicker, former oil trader and president of MercBloc, says we should all be used to this by now. "Every year we do this," Dicker notes in the attached video. "We have a spike in gasoline prices; we have screaming from the Congressmen, and then again the prices go down into the fall and everyone forgets."
Theater of the absurd in D.C. is to be expected — and largely ignored. However, gas price volatility is a real problem. Companies can't predict their costs, consumers see their discretionary income whipsawed, and basic financial planning becomes all but impossible for commuters on a tight budget.
What's more concerning is that the howling over the peaks and valleys of prices at the pump drown out the fact that the prices have been moving higher every year since the bottom of the global recession. With more crude available, more refiners online, more efficient cars and decreasing average miles driven, gas prices should be falling instead of moving from $1.60 in early 2009 to the current average of just under $3.70.
Dicker's got a proposal that would smooth out the volatility curve and ease pain at the pump.Read More »from Here’s How to Ease Gas Price Pain for Good