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Saturday, 22 April, 2006

WPVI Philadelphia: Gas Outage at Some Local Pumps

This will be the way the game is played. Spot shortages especially (my guess) at “spot market” stations. In decades passed, spot-market stations were ones who sold gas without benefit of the brand of an oil company. Thanks to 90’s regulations, anything that isn’t an O-and-O (of which, technically, there are none in Texas although Valero/Diamond Shamrock operates essentially as O-and-O stations) can purchase spot gas and may soon run out.

The excuse is that the conversion process is going slowly and is expensive. That is, returning to the 1994 blends of gas is difficult and elaborate, or perhaps they refuse to assign enough people to the task. This is how it’s going to be through the Summer. Unfettered regulation by Congress will be the excuse. We usually see a 10% spike before holiday weekends because of “demand” so we’ll see something moreso this time around with the post-holiday price ebb somewhat smaller that what we’re accustomed to seeing.

Right now, we’re seeing the price plane out at about 2.80 in these parts.
That will spike 15% to around 3.20 by Memorial Day, ebbing to 3.05 thereafter.
Expect another hit of 15% to at least 3.50 by the Fourth, ebbing to 3.20 thereafter.
By Labor Day, 3.65 will not be uncommon.

Just before the elections, think Halloween time, you’ll see the price of gas inexplicably drop to 3.15 and we’ll be grateful.

My solution? Get a bike for smaller trips. Let them do what they’re going to do, as if we could do anything else, just stay out of their way.

I’ve got to work out how to put a basket on the bike.


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