Looking for updates on oil prices, OPEC strategy, and other such global energy financial issues? I recommend The Capital Spectator, where James Picerno opines clearly and analytically about such things.
Here in Chicago, it’s the sustained high world oil prices combined with it being March that drives up our gas prices. Why March, you ask? Doesn’t driving season start in late May? Not when refiners face the federal fuel oxygenate requirement and also have to deplete the winter fuel stored in their tanks before filling them with summer (more oxygenated, around here) fuel. The combination of balkanized gasoline markets due to the way federal environmental regulations are implemented and the “no mixing” rule has led to price increases starting in March instead of May.
It’s been that way for several years now, although last year was particularly remarkable, as the number of posts here on the topic last spring indicates.