Industry Image is Battered by Ike

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The oil and gas industry's already bad public persona is taking another hit. This time courtesy of Hurricane Ike.

The widespread gasoline price jumps that occurred ahead of the storm surge have further diminished the industry's image. Gasoline prices rose to $5.49/gallon in Tallahassee, FL and $4.99/gallon in Knoxville, TN. The Knoxville price of regular gasoline was $3.66/gallon on Friday.

One might expect price increases as a consequence of the storm, not in anticipation of the storm. This is clearly price gouging and industry executives should work to restrain independent station owners from taking advantage of the public.

Refinery closures and crude oil shortages will force national prices to exceed $4.00/gallon nationwide. The Energy Information Administration reported that gasoline prices on September 8th averaged $3.65/gallon. Prices in the Dallas area jumped 30 cents/gallon before the storm hit. So we've probably blown past the $4.00/gallon mark nationally as I post this.
My best advice is to postpone trips, buy only what you need immediately and report stations engaging in price gouging.


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