Freshly returned from a few months spent with his new baby (congratulations!), Alexis Madrigal at the Atlantic wonders why gas prices are falling in the US. He notes that the national average is the lowest it’s been in almost three years. He identifies a few factors that influence gas prices, most notably world oil prices. … More Alexis Madrigal: Why Are Gasoline Prices Falling?
Michael Giberson Jeffrey Tucker at Laissez Faire Today points out Peter C. Earle’s blog on the emergence of a black market in gasoline in northern New Jersey and New York City during the post-Storm Sandy period. A few days after the storm swept through, when politicians began reasserting their willingness to enforce price gouging limits … More Notes on the Post-sandy Nj/nyc Black Market in Gasoline
Michael Giberson Is price gouging like highway robbery? The Journal News, from the suburbs north of New York City, said: “Add shame to penalty for gouging“: Given the extraordinary cost of just about everything in New York, it is often difficult to distinguish price-gouging, which is both illegal and despicable, from the usual highway robbery, … More New York Newspaper Says “Add Shame to Penalty for Gouging”
Michael Giberson One idea advanced by proponents of anti-price gouging laws is that after disaster strikes people should put aside their usual self-interests, join in with the community, and share in the burden of recovery. What these proponents often miss is that normal market adjustments will support a sharing in the burden of recovery, even … More New Yorkers Didn’t ‘share the Pain’ of Higher Gasoline Prices During Emergency
Michael Giberson The New York Attorney General’s office continues its aggressive pursuit of price gouging violations, announcing another 12 cases last week. From the press release: “Our office will continue to take enforcement actions against price gougers because ripping off New Yorkers is against the law,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “We are actively investigating the hundreds of … More Another Round of Price Gouging Charges in New York
Michael Giberson The New York Attorney General’s office takes action against 13 gas station owners in the state for price gouging. Like last week’s prompt response by New Jersey, this is unusually quick work for price gouging cases. A few quotes from the AG’s press release: NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today … More New York State Also Moves Quickly on Price Gougers
Michael Giberson The Houston Chronicle reports on the difficult financial position of many U.S. refineries. Crude oil prices are up for refineries relying on international markets, but U.S. consumers are moderating their gasoline consumption at higher prices and so refiners find their margins to be getting squeezed. A good article, but right at the end … More Refiners Are Getting Squeezed by High Crude Oil Prices and Faltering U.s. Demand, So Let’s Increase Their Costs!
Michael Giberson As the chart below shows, during the summer of 2008 gasoline prices in Anchorage, Alaska switched from following typical prices in the lower 48 to a modest but notable amount above such typical prices. Not shown, but you can check it out at Gasbuddy.com where I generated the chart, after the summer of … More Are Refiners and Wholesalers Price Gouging on Petroleum Products in Alaska?
Michael Giberson The basic math is pretty simple: most gasoline in the U.S. has about 10 percent ethanol, so the the 45 cents/gallon VEETC subsidy reduced the price of gasoline about 4.5 cents. The subsidy expired at the end of 2011, so one reason gasoline prices have gone up a few cents since New Year’s … More Loss of Ethanol Subsidy Boosts Gasoline Prices a Little, E85 Prices a Lot
Michael Giberson It sounds kind of funny to say the New York Attorney General wants to prohibit business-related reasoning in gasoline wholesaling. After all, gasoline wholesaling is a business activity and generally business-related reasoning would be entirely appropriate. It sounds like asking a court not to act on law-related reasoning or asking a politician not to … More New York Attorney General Proposes to Prohibit Use of Business-related Reasoning in Gasoline Wholesaling