Are you as incensed as I am with the fluctuating prices at the gas pump? They can sometimes change a couple of times a day—and for what reason?
Many of you remember, even if I don’t, when the price of gas would remain the same for months, except for the occasional neighborhood gas war. Here’s why that was logical and made perfect sense, except maybe to members of Congress.
For the sake of argument, and the fact that I’m too busy drinking my latte to check it out, let’s say that your local dealer bought gas for $3.00 per gallon and sold it for $3.25 per gallon. It would remain at that sale price until he purchased the next tanker load, which maybe cost him $3.05 per gallon. He would then raise the pump price to $3.30 per gallon if he wanted to keep his profit margin the same.
Today, though, pump prices have nothing to do with reality or gas that cost the dealer $3.00 per gallon. If a refinery worker in Tyler, Texas sneezes, oil executives say “gesundtheit”, the media picks up the story and before that worker has a chance to blow his nose, the price of gas jumps twenty cents—even though the gas in that tank in the ground at your local station isn’t any better. It’s still the same old $3.00 per gallon stuff, even older now than when it was first pumped under the concrete.
Since oil company executives assume members of the gas buying public have the IQ of a track shoe, they’ll accept a sneezing fit as a reasonable explanation for a price spike. I’m assuming that we’re all smarter than the average Nike® and can see through this phony excuse.
What can we do? Three things. The first two involve aardvarks and same sex marriage respectively, so I’ll skip right to the third. Fill up your fuel-efficient auto with that aging, overpriced gas (which has just jumped another twenty cents since you pulled your credit card out of your wallet to insert in the pump), drive to Tyler, Texas, find that sneezing refinery worker and run him over.
The downside is that the price of gas will go up twenty cents because there is now one less worker to refine oil into gas.