(slightly less edited version sent to Gristmill)
Gasoline supplies right now are plumbing historic lows, just as May and the “summer driving season” are about to roll around. This fact has the industry types at the WSJ’s Energy Roundup abuzz with predictions of $4/gallon gasoline, should the inevitable disruption (refinery fire, hurricane, Iran war) occur. As in years past, areas with higher cost gasoline, mostly the blue states along the oceans and Great Lakes, will see the highest prices.
Some hope that record margins (known as “crack spread,” heh heh) will lead refineries to crank up gas production, but in any case, there’s perilously little slack in America’s already-taut gasoline supply chain. Blogger Robert Rapier points out that gasoline supplies right now are lower than they’ve ever been (at least since current records began, in 1991), besides a few Labor Day weekends when supplies are drawn down after all that summer driving.
I never quite understood the concept of a “summer driving season,” anyways. Why waste a glorious summer day cooped up inside a car stuck in traffic? This summer, let’s all escape gloomy gas prices (and the inevitable media moaning about such) and have a Summer Walking Season instead.