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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 12/30/2010

Are gas prices headed toward $5 a gallon?

By Sarah Halzack

While a nascent economic recovery could spell good news for consumers in 2011 and 2012, there's at least one place where they could be feeling a greater pinch: the gas pump.

According to travel organization AAA, the average price of regular gasoline in the U.S. is $3.071, up from $2.854 one month ago and $2.623 one year ago. The data from the D.C. region closely mirror the national data, with prices here averaging $3.079. Both numbers are a long way from the record average price of $4.114, which was recorded in October 2008 during the height of the financial crisis. But still, the surge in recent weeks to average prices above $3 marks the first time prices have crossed that threshold since 2008.

And some experts are predicting those numbers will continue to tick upward. John Hofmeister, chief executive of the nonprofit organization Citizens for Affordable Energy and a former Shell executive, said in a recent interview with Platts Energy Week that he expects gas prices to hit $5 a gallon by 2012.

Earlier this month, analysts at JPMorgan Chase forecast that oil prices would surge to more than $120 a barrel before the end of 2012, which could contribute to higher prices for drivers at the pump.

This map provides a closer look at gas prices nationwide.

Will higher gas prices (or the threat of higher gas prices) make you think twice about purchasing a gas-guzzling car? Weigh in the comments section.

By Sarah Halzack  | December 30, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
 
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Comments

Not sure if/when they'll hit $5, but they're definitely climbing quickly in NOVA region (just saw $3.15 at local EXXON).

We saw this coming back in '08 when we launched www.cost2drive.com - even though gas prices plummeted the last couple of years we we're pretty certain they'd return to the $3-4 range (which is still 1/2 to 1/3 the price of fuel in Europe). I just read yesterday that gas prices in Bolivia are up 73% and its causing riots, so this sounds like a global issue.

It should provide a good tailwind for the introduction of electric cars though. We just launched an application that calculates how much money you'd save commuting to work in a Volt or a Leaf based on current gas prices. You can try it out at http://apps.facebook.com/costtodrive

Posted by: Jim | December 30, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I drive a Prius, so you can see where I stand on fuel efficiency.

But in all honesty, I live in downtown Staunton, Va. where I can walk to over 20 restaurants (including 3 international varieties), two first-run movie houses, two theaters (one of which, The American Shakespeare Center's Blackfriar's Playhouse, is world class), many hair and nail salons or barbers, the bank and post office, an upscale women's clothing shop, several antique shops, 3 book stores, church, my kids' school, the library, the gym, the park, 4 thrift stores, realtors, 2 jewelers, 5 coffee shop/bakery/tea houses, the railroad station, a museum, the courthouse, the municipal building, 2 fast food options one of which is a real 50s drive-in diner, five hotels/bead & breakfasts/motels for guests, two health food stores, 3 beer/wine and alternative markets, the ABC store, a college, the farmer's market in season, and a bunch of friends' houses. I moved here to get ahead of the curve on inevitably rising fuel prices and then helped found a Transition Town group to address small town living in the end of cheap energy era, which is now irrefutably upon us. (Even in the US energy prices are kept down by massive subsidies—I'd like to see free-market Republicans and Tea Partiers rail against that kind of Socialism. That'll be the day.)

At any rate, when I'm not walking, I'm biking. When there's no other choice, I break out the Prius.

Gas and oil prices will skyrocket and they won't come back down, at least not in any kind of real or lasting way. Price volatility may see decline shocks, but they will be temporary at best and will only signal such a bad economy (recession/depression) that it won't matter much that prices are low anyway.

The International Energy Agency announced this year that world peak oil hit in 2006. They tried to pretend tar sands and deepwater oil would take up the slack in declining sweet crude, but the cost is simply too high there to be a one-to-one replacement.

The end of cheap energy is unmistakenly upon us. Getting an SUV is for the ill-informed and those lacking foresight.

Sadly the US has essentially no plan to address peak oil and the current administration and Congress are abdicating their responsibility to the citizenry to address it. This shows a tragically reckless disregard for the long arc of American success.

Take a look around. Energy touches everything we do, buy, use. It doesn't take a genius to see the implications of the end of cheap energy. But it does take courage and will to address it.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 30, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

5 dollars a gallon by the 2012 elections and we all know how to thank obama...
because after all. he stopped the drilling of oil in the gulf of mexico...

Posted by: DwightCollins | December 30, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Woops, that was not by anonymous, it was by me:

I drive a Prius, so you can see where I stand on fuel efficiency.

But in all honesty, I live in downtown Staunton, Va. where I can walk to over 20 restaurants (including 3 international varieties), two first-run movie houses, two theaters (one of which, The American Shakespeare Center's Blackfriar's Playhouse, is world class), many hair and nail salons or barbers, the bank and post office, an upscale women's clothing shop, several antique shops, 3 book stores, church, my kids' school, the library, the gym, the park, 4 thrift stores, realtors, 2 jewelers, 5 coffee shop/bakery/tea houses, the railroad station, a museum, the courthouse, the municipal building, 2 fast food options one of which is a real 50s drive-in diner, five hotels/bead & breakfasts/motels for guests, two health food stores, 3 beer/wine and alternative markets, the ABC store, a college, the farmer's market in season, and a bunch of friends' houses. I moved here to get ahead of the curve on inevitably rising fuel prices, and to be nearer to farmland and where food is grown (Joel Salatin's farmis 8 miles from here), and then helped found a Transition Town group to address small town living in the end of cheap energy era, which is now irrefutably upon us. (Even in the US energy prices are artificially kept down by massive subsidies—I'd like to see free-market Republicans and Tea Partiers rail against that kind of Socialism. That'll be the day.)

At any rate, when I'm not walking, I'm biking. When there's no other choice, I break out the Prius.

Gas and oil prices will skyrocket and they won't come back down, at least not in any kind of real or lasting way. Price volatility may see decline shocks, but they will be temporary at best and will only signal such a bad economy (recession/depression) that it won't matter much that prices are low anyway.

The International Energy Agency announced this year that world peak oil hit in 2006. They tried to pretend tar sands and deepwater oil would take up the slack in declining sweet crude, but the cost is simply too high there to be a one-to-one replacement.

The end of cheap energy is unmistakenly upon us. Big shocks to lifestyle are coming. Getting an SUV is for the ill-informed and those lacking foresight.

Sadly the US has essentially no plan to address peak oil and the current administration and Congress are abdicating their responsibility to the citizenry to address it. This shows a tragically reckless disregard for the long arc of American success.

Take a look around. Energy touches everything we do, buy, use. It doesn't take a genius to see the implications of the end of cheap energy. But it does take courage and will to address it.

Posted by: lindsaycurren | December 30, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

dwight collins needs to learn how to do math -- the US must pay the world price of oil, and the world supply of oil is rising because the world demand for oil is outstripping the supply. The relatively small amount that can be gotten from off-shore oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico will not change that math -- it is too small an amount. More drilling off the gulf will make the oil companies richer, but won't lower the price of gasoline a nickel.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 30, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I hope it hits $7-8/gal. Especially after all the idiots buy their SUVs!

Posted by: johng1 | December 30, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Necessity is the mother of invention. Hopefully, new invention will occur to ameliorate this crisis. Oil companies are still subsidized as a risky "new" business venture to the tune of 31 billion a year. And tea party types are hollering about too many entitlements? Hypocrisy to the 10th degree and the start of what could be an ugly class war seems about to rear its head in congress.

I doubt that anyone will shed tears when greedy oil companies go the way of the railroad tycoons from 18th century.

Posted by: periculum | December 30, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Forgot to mention. The entire cost of the Gulf Coast cleanup: Entirely tax deductible for the oil companies involved while they are "subsidized" with "entitlements". It means you are paying for the cleanup both at the pump and with your tax dollars.

Glad to see the Federal government is suing them for damages.

Still, this should encourage people to ride folding Brompton bikes and walk more while driving less. Its your money they are literally stealing.

Posted by: periculum | December 30, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

the bottom line is what will happen to all of us. there will be no food in the supermarket and no money to buy it if there is. sounds like there will be total chaos, what the present administration is seeking. you will be responsible for your self. where will most americans find their food? it wiil not matter what you drive because you will not be able toi drive it. i drive a 2010 ford raptor with 411 hp. it will not matter what you drive. what will matter is how many bullets you have to protect what you have.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 30, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

How's that Gulf oil drilling ban working out for ya?

Posted by: sleestack108 | December 30, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Funny how the gas prices rise when the republicans have power and wane when they don't...

Posted by: Anonymous | December 30, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Goodbye economic recovery.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 30, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

The gas prices will continue going up as long as Obama uses his reckless polices that stop the drilling off shore and on land $5.00 a gallon might be just the starting price then you add all the taxes that are no dought coming. 2012 is coming I hope that the voters do not make it 4 more years of this madness

Posted by: freedon | December 30, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

The "Oil Barron" of the 21st century not only got the Bush tax credit for 2 more years, they saw the extra little money the avg taxpayers get from paying less social security. Hence, they raise gas prices and gain what little extra money the the government gave to poor, lower middle class, and social security pensioners. The oil barrons want it all! How can the oil,insurance,medical, banking industry,big corp.ceo's, career politicians and wall street brokers call themselves Americans. They could care less about the people as long as they are lining their pockets with money to live their oppulent life styles. Forget the tired, hungry, huddled masses. Their philosopy is apparently, "the masses are asses." and "they should be thankful they might have a job for a while."

Posted by: Anonymous | December 30, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"Funny how the gas prices rise when the republicans have power and wane when they don't..."

The Republicans are not in power now.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 30, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I live in MA.. in a state that is already way out of whack between 'wages' and 'cost of living', at 5+ per/gal.. This will destroy many families here.. It is not only the cost of driving that we will see, but rather when the cost of every day goods go up as well. Never mind the idea of oil being used for heating in many homes up here.. It will be a tremendous strain on all families, Prius owners or not. It's bad enough that we are still dealing with a weak economy at best..

Posted by: Anonymous | December 30, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I live in MA.. in a state that is already way out of whack between 'wages' and 'cost of living', at 5+ per/gal.. This will destroy many families here.. It is not only the cost of driving that we will see, but rather when the cost of every day goods go up as well. Never mind the idea of oil being used for heating in many homes up here.. It will be a tremendous strain on all families, Prius owners or not. It's bad enough that we are still dealing with a weak economy at best..

Posted by: Anonymous | December 30, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

You know all you tree hugging, bicycle riding, prius driving idiots should get out of southern california once in a while. I live in rural new england. There is no public transit, and the distances and landscape don't lend themselves to bicycling... ever try to drive a schwinn in 18 inches of snow? Which also brings up the SUV issue... a prius in deep snow is a death wish. At 5.00 a gallon I won't be able to afford to drive to work.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 30, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

The fastest, and probably only way, to reduce gas cost is to drive less. Americans hop in the car and "run down" to the store for the littlest things. Driving all over town for minor visits and purchases will become history.

We can also turn our thermostats down 5 degrees lower and do fine by just wearing more clothing indoors, especially sweaters or simple layering. That 5 degrees would be a major gas cost savings for the whole country.

Food and most retail stuff like clothes will also go up in price as all energy prices rise. But since 30% (average) of us are now medically "obese," and 60% of us are overweight (CDC), cutting back on food due to higher costs will not be a problem. And with stuffed dressers, closets and garages, fewer new clothes or adult toys will also be simpler and help clean out our over-materialistic lifestyles.

Posted by: Iceberg2 | December 30, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Gas prices are not rising because of supply & demand of a growing economy. Gas prices are rising for the same reason that gold, silver, and other precious metals/commodities are rising ... MONEY PRINTING.

Posted by: penniless_taxpayer | December 30, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

to Johng1, your the idot, what are familys supposed to drive their kids to school, daycare, etc in? A moped, get a life!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 30, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Response to lindsaycurren

The first thing she makes clear is how superior she sees herself by announcing her choice of a Pruis. Then noxiously prattles on about her yuppie neighborhood, it's near proximity to all the trendy little shops and lilly white public schools. She fancies herself as "progressive", but to normal folks she's a tool of the psudo-chic liberal class. It's nearly enough to make me want to retch. And I like my 911.

Posted by: stuhlreyer | December 30, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

As much as it hurts our pocketbooks in the short term, there are potential benefits to higher gas prices, as they seem to be the only real incentive to more healthy lifestyles. Burning less gas is the only thing that is going to slow down CO2 emissions and possibly forestall global climate change. Investment in public transportation will make our cities better places and more walking and biking will also make us healthier. I am however worried about the costs of heating oil for the poor and those with fixed incomes.

Posted by: T_ecoconsulting | December 30, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Fact is, the many things that influence the oil prices are far to complex for the majority to measure, production, demand, inflation, and the fact that oil is NOT a renewable resource all play a factor. Offshore drilling in Mexico won't fix the world price on oil, or reduce our dependance on it. Eventually, maybe not in our lifetime, but eventually the oil will run out, which means it is only going to get more expensive from here. The days of America having $2-$3 gas prices while the rest of the world pays more for it already are over. We are watching the beginning of a trickle down effect that will worsen with time, consumption and the eventual depletion of the world's oil supply and if we don't do something about it now, we will all be in the dark later. Just like Riots in Bolivia when our country's economy can't support the cost of oil we too will experience chaos. If we just stop using oil all together the economy would fall totally. It's just a matter of time before we hang ourselves with the economy or the supply, its not a matter of if, but when and what happens first. Those who don't believe it are the sheep the government heards into the pen.

Posted by: Joshua Walker | December 30, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

The record high prices in Oct 2008 were not because of supply and demand, but because of speculators artificially inflating the cost of oil for their own financial gain. I certainly hope that the JPMorgan Chase analyst referred to is this article realizes the gravity of the situation and the financial harm those kinds of prices can do to people. If he is just one of those "speculators" then I hope JPMorgan Chase is responsible enough (at least this time) to not put profit ahead of intengrity...but that is doubtful.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 30, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

In other words, while the financiers will continue to rake in cash from their antics, and the politicans will coast to reelection for gutting our social safety net to cover big tax breaks for the richest Americans, the rest of us can look forward to paying ever more of what little we actually make for the sake of keeping up the claims that climate change is a lie and that guzzling oil is a God-given right. Lovely.

Posted by: jamessamans | December 30, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

This has nothing to do with which political party is in power it is about supply and demand.

On the supply side, worldwide crude oil production peaked in 2006 as old oil wells are going dry faster than new wells are coming online. China and India are are adding to the demand side of the equation. (Don't take my word for this Google dept. of energy monthly energy report and see for yourself.) Offshore drilling won't help; there isn't enough oil offshore to make up the difference. (Go to http://www.boemre.gov/ to do your own research)

I have no political axe to grind here. My advice is for everyone to buy whatever vehicle will do the job you need while getting the best gas mileage you can. If your home is heated by burning fuel oil - insulate, insulate, insulate.

Good Luck.

Posted by: MikeMaloney | December 30, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Possibly the Arabs are using these tactics instead of terrorism to bring the US down.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 30, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter what you do to conserve. The price is not reflective of supply and demand. It is set at whatever big business and the new world order want it to be. Look at home heating oil, who controls it, and the past (1) year chart ($HOIL). Were any of you buying heating oil last summer?
Look at gasoline, who controls it, and the supply. We had a 15 year high of supply due to no demand in this rotten economy created by rampant greed that till this day has yet to yield (1) perpetrator in jail. So what happenes to gasoline?
So SUV or electric...it doesn't matter.
On that note...electricity is the next fleecing of the consumer with smart meters here or coming to a piece of house siding near you. Your electric bills most likely have tarriff charges for it already, and it could be 15 years for full roll out. So we pay up front today for crap that's going to make the utilities even richer, provide Wall St. with a new trading platform "the virtual power plant", and it's not going to save us squat, unless we once again... have to alter our current lifestyle..."hourly".
Big buinesses, medium businesses keep the current electric rate system, small business gets two options, and the average joe gets to do his laundry at 2:00AM or immediately see his meter rate jump when he turns the dryer on (data packet sent every 5 minutes).
So go plug that fancy LEAF or VOLT in to your taxpayer subsidized 30% off solar panels, and brag how green you are to somebody not listening.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 30, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

So lets have a show of hands! How many of you seriously believe that even if big oil had more off shore drilling rights that they would sell it all to the US. Oil is Global Market and we are just one of the markets to sell oil to. You will all have to get used to high prices at the pump. The sucking sound you hear is an SUV doing 50 in a 30. You will drive slower, you will be buying more smaller vehicles and quite probably wish the governemt would do something about it. Whatever that is. In the meantime you will see more accidents like last years Gulf oil spill as whatever oil is left is increasingly difficult to get. Good luck with hoping the GOP will allow more deepwater drilling AND at the same time force Big oil to sell what the find to US.

Posted by: mnwcsult | December 30, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Obama needs to go bye bye in 2012!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 30, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

their just isn't any reason for high gas prices except Greed and presidents that have
not done anything since J.F.K.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 30, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

this is simply a matter of whatever people are willing to pay. stay home from work for 2 days,don't purchase any petroleum products,don't drive anywhere,don't shop, don't go out for entertainment,don't eat out.etc. demonstrate your intolerance for extorsion from the oil companies. if you are willing to pay 4 or 5 dollars a gallon for gas, there will be no limits to what you will be tested to pay.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 30, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

There is a huge surplus of cheap domestically produced natural gas which can be used in internal combustion engines witha few cheap modifications.

Why are we not moving to natural gas. Europe is moving to it.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 30, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to respond to a follow-up:

Response to lindsaycurren

The first thing she makes clear is how superior she sees herself by announcing her choice of a Pruis. Then noxiously prattles on about her yuppie neighborhood, it's near proximity to all the trendy little shops and lilly white public schools. She fancies herself as "progressive", but to normal folks she's a tool of the psudo-chic liberal class. It's nearly enough to make me want to retch. And I like my 911.

Posted by: stuhlreyer | December 30, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that was uncalled for. I thought she pointed out that there are places where people can actually live and survive with minimal transportation. Seems you turned it around and spurned her Prius for your 911! I have a gas guzzler and also a Prius and where I live I can't get around like she does. If I like the gas guzzler and you like the 911 and she likes the Prius and we can all afford to put gas in our choice that's just great, but we needn't assault those with different viewpoints.

Posted by: jwkoest | December 30, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

stuhlreyer, give me a break, fat old man. Your stupid rant was just a sorry excuse to say you have a Porsche. Nobody gives a s--- what you drive. Who's the one trying to act superior?

Posted by: taonima2000 | December 30, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

look, it doesn't matter whether you drive a prius or a suburban ... remember what happened just before this recession??? ... gas at $4/gal (btw, the same thing happened in the late 70's - remember???)... it's a tax on everyone and everything (at least everything that moves on a highway or the ocean or rail) ... it's not a renewable resource and we are unprepared to switch to anything else in a meaningful way ... for every calorie that we consume in food, we expend 10 calories in petroleum to grow it (fertalizer), harvest it (diesel for the tractor), ship it (diesel either rail or semi) and bring it home (gas in the car) ... supply has peaked while world energy demand is on the rise ... we should have been planning for this 10-20 yrs ago but the politicians don't try to solve a problem until it's a crisis ... so good luck in the new $5/gal world ... that's what you get for giving the white house to two texas oil cronies ... and Obama has been too busy trying to clean-up the mess that they left behind to craft a decent energy policy ...

and don't be one of those "drill baby drill" dumb-a---s ... there aint that much oil there (most of the gulf leases are sitting idle because there isn't that much there and what is costs too much to make it worthwhile ... oh, and you might ruin the economies of florida, louisiana and miss when a rig springs a leak)

Posted by: Anonymous | December 31, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Dwight Collins and all Anonymous Anuses need to eat more beans and bottle the flatulence.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 31, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Ehhh...I think $5+ gas will be a long term boon to this country. There will be short-to-moderate term pain as our economy and lifestyle realigns once we can no longer sustain food on the average American's table traveling an average of 1,200 miles to get there, or running to the store to pick up one or two small items, or suburban sprawl.

The long term benefits, however, will be excellent. We'll increase urban population densities, making mass transit more effective. As suburban sprawl and impulsive driving dwindle, we'll use less oil. This will reduce the ~$760 BILLION per year we send to countries that don't have a history of liking us. We'll emit less air pollution as people drive less. A premium will be put on fuel efficient vehicles and houses with greater insulation. If oil gets even more expensive, countries with low labor costs (and lower environmental standards and workplace safety rules) will become less competitive as shipping costs escalate (Anybody want to guess how much fuel a freighter uses in an hour? It's substantially more than a train.) and Americans will start buying American again - probably a good thing for employment numbers.

As another poster noted, as more people walk and bicycle, and as food prices increase, our national obesity epidemic will probably subside. Unfortunately, the short-to-midterm pain as families have problems feeding themselves, commuting to work, etc., is not something I take lightly. I see it as a regrettable byproduct as our nation is forced to wean ourselves off our petroleum addiction.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 31, 2010 1:19 AM | Report abuse

Will gas hit $5.00 a gallon? You can bet your assets it will if the Republicans have anything to say about it.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 31, 2010 5:39 AM | Report abuse

Understanding the impact of high gas prices, I have a very hard time understanding the logic of buying an SUV -- gas prices go up, prices go up across the board economically. How much disposable income do people really have to donate to Exxon? That extra 50-100 a week that now must go into fuel for an SUV (rather than the electric bill or the medical copay) will impact the consumer horrifically, especially as most are still living nearly paycheck to paycheck.

But a Prius or other smart-type car? Even with gas prices rising, costs can be contained due to substanstially increased fuel efficiency.

Honestly, this is simple -- why some people, who base their self worth on KNOWING better, don't understand this simple equation is mystifying.

I excuse the public -- I don't excuse those who job it is to know and understand this.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 31, 2010 5:56 AM | Report abuse

Increased fuel efficiency of an automobile, for starters, acts as a sort of economic stabilizer when gas prices start to flucuate wildly, particulary with regard to individual economics.

It is not a cure all or a safety net but it does give breathing room for financial reorganization or reassessment, particulary for the more savvy consumer, in times of a fuel crisis. Back in the 70s, and maybe you missed it historically, it was much much worse in terms of enery shortages, but Americans buckled down and bought all those gas efficent Japanese cars. Changed the equation, a lot...

Once people have a sense of some control, they are better able to innovate through and anticipate economic instability, which leads to a greater sense of personal stability and accomplishment despite the half-wit economic doodoo sold to us by Fox and 'supply side.' This in turn can lead to a true greater national security for the long run in that the population is strengthened and the economy innovates.

That's why it matters.

Ya dumb ko0k.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 31, 2010 6:11 AM | Report abuse

Gas prices always seem to go up when republicans assume some political power, in this case the House of Reps. Dems held the reins of power for 2 years and we had stable and relatively low gas prices.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 31, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

The higher the price of crude, the more money our oil companies make. The majority of money made by these companies isn't from sales of gasoline, but rather from pumping crude from the ground. If OPEC raises the price of crude to $150, our own gas companies will be ecstatic, for they will also charge $150 for our own American oil, pumped from our own American soil. You think the oil companies aren't working to raise the price of crude?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 31, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Gas prices are going to rise as long as our naked emperor continues to dilute the dollar with spending increases and tax cuts. Congress bare some blame, but in the end you can't pass the buck, the president has to sign the bill when it lands on his desk.

Almost a trillion dollars in new money was spent last year on some unquantifable results for the stimulus and another similar amount this year with the latest "compromise".

Blame no one but our president for the price of gasoline.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 31, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Gas prices are going to rise as long as our naked emperor continues to dilute the dollar with spending increases and tax cuts. Congress bare some blame, but in the end you can't pass the buck, the president has to sign the bill when it lands on his desk.

Almost a trillion dollars in new money was spent last year on some unquantifable results for the stimulus and another similar amount this year with the latest "compromise".

Blame no one but our president for the price of gasoline.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 31, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

However one benefit will be fewer people driving and easier traffic flow with fewer traffic jams. So more room for me!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 31, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Once again, we have misinformation. Sure gas "prices" are headed for $5 or more, but it's not because the real cost of oil is rising. It's because Ben Bernanke and the Fed have determined to destroy the dollar's value to extricate their banking buddies from their gambling mistakes. And, since the oil is prices in dollars, the price of it has nowhere to go but up.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 31, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

prices will be what the oil cartels and the ploliticians want them to be.the electric car scam is part of the plan.hi priced vehicles that use electricity will increase this price of same,insurance premiums will increase etc etc.this is globalization,which is destroying our economy. in the meantime billions and lives of our military are spent in craphole countries

Posted by: pofinpa | December 31, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

5 dollars a gallon by the 2012 elections and we all know how to thank obama...
because after all. he stopped the drilling of oil in the gulf of mexico...

Posted by: DwightCollins | December 30, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

-----------

yes, due to an oil leak caused by private industry circumventing safety procedures made possible by lax oversight brought on by a previously republican administration and congress gutting the strength of regulatory agencies. It's going to take decades to repair the damage done to this country by conservatives.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 31, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

5 dollars a gallon by the 2012 elections and we all know how to thank obama...
because after all. he stopped the drilling of oil in the gulf of mexico...

Posted by: DwightCollins | December 30, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

-----------

yes, due to a massive oil leak caused by private industry circumventing safety procedures that was made possible by lax oversight brought on by a previously republican administration and congress gutting the strength of regulatory agencies. It's going to take decades to repair the damage done to this country by conservatives.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 31, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

When I left Europe in 2008, they were already paying the equivalent of $8.00 a gallon, that is why they have been investing heavily in rapid transit. Only a handful of US cities, DC, NY and Chicago have anything approaching what almost every major European city has in the way of rapid transit.

The cost of oil is going to rise, not due to any drilling ban in America, but because the other 5 billion people on this planet (those outside of Europe and America) are beginning to consume fossile fuels like we have done for years and their consumption rates are still a fraction of our own.

Use of fossil fuels touch every part of our lives; food, medicine, energy and transportation. We in America need to get serious about alternate fuel sources and reversing urban sprawl if we want our children to enjoy the life that we do today.

Posted by: cptgfb | December 31, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

The US has had advanced battery and alternative fuel tech for at least 25 years. The problem is that oil companies and Detroit automakers have conspired (with the help of lobbyists) to protect their domain and keep Americans driving gas-guzzling cars. They buy up promising alternative technologies, then bury them.

Their do-nothing lackeys - Congress, the DOE and EPA - are too gutless (and self-interested) to force automakers to achieve 50mpg+ fuel-efficiencies and create the national infrastructure (i.e., recharge stations) needed to support mass-market adoption of electric vehicles - both of which would help wean the US off OPEC's teet.

Posted by: wrigleywrat | December 31, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse


Petroleum supply cannot keep up with demand. That pinch triggered the current economic malaise and it can kill a recovery in the crib. There is no easy way out and blaming financiers who made large bets on further expansion provide a better political scapegoat than facing the long term pinch that petroleum supplies create.

Halting drilling in the Gulf doesn't help though, nor do the numerous other drilling bans present in the US.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 31, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

What is so different between this year and last that gas prices now are escalating and expected to go higher according to gas company executives? Is it because of the Republican victory in November and more speculation on the commodities markets. Is regime change in Iran now more likely? Has anyone received the news that Iraq now has more oil on the market than before? I am very suspect of this rise in oil prices.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 31, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

In Europe, Fiat offers the new multi-jet diesel engine that gets 60mpg, however the Chrysler factory near Mexico City is not offering this engine for the Fiat 500 being made for America.

The new diesel engine can top out at 112 miles per hour and does 0-60 in 10.7 seconds. The engine offers start-stop technology that cuts emissions from 110 grams of CO2 per kilometer to 104 grams.

Ford Motor Co. is expanding with a $350 million investment with partner Mazda Motor Corp. in their pickup truck plant in Thailand.

The Mazda BT-50 is the sister truck to Ford's all-new Ranger global small pickup. Both were developed by a team led by Ford's Australian engineering team, although Mazda had considerable input from the start.

The international market will get this vehicle with a 2.5-liter inline-five-cylinder turbo-diesel with fantastic mileage. They are selling primarily in Australia and India. As is the case with the Ford Ranger, there are no plans to bring the Mazda BT-50 to North America.

The technology exists for us right this minute, but our emission standards are the world's highest - and prevent the introduction of this new technology.

Curses to the EPA and the idiots that don't want us to get 60 mpg in our new cars. Besides, we haven't built a new oil refinery in America in the last 35 years. Maybe we don't have the capacity to make enough diesel fuel. We have too many stupid regulations. When gas gets to $5 a gallon, maybe Americans will demand the new diesel engines available to the rest of the world.

Posted by: alance | December 31, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

You surely can never say, now that Republicans are back.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 31, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Of course gas will eventually hit $5 a gallon, and maybe even more. The reason, I think, is because most folks have no choice but to pay whatever it costs. OPEC and the refiners know this. And, if there are shortages and lines such as during the 1970s, you'll feel really good (well, maybe not) finally being able to fill your tank for $70 - $120.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 31, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

It is interesting to watch the price of gas and its history. At one time, none of the reasons they use today were used to raise the price of gas. Today, any excuse is used to raise the price. The only real reason it happens is never used. That reason is GREED.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 31, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

The comments, as usual, pretty much break down to blaming the political system…now for a different point of view. The US manufacturers have generally ignored the possibilities for good alternative fuel sources, including wider availability of efficient diesel vehicles (long available in Europe), which, if needed, will run on slightly modified vegetable oil. Fuel created from algae is by now a real alternative, but has been pretty much ignored—the Prius, and its cousins have a battery disposal problem that I find unacceptable, and the other more popular technologies don’t work for me—my travel doesn’t fit into the electric car driving-range, the recharging is too difficult to work into an overcrowded life and the current cost is absurd. I drive is a VW Jetta TDI that routinely gets more than 44 MPG. I looked hard for something American that was as efficient, but they don’t exist. (Happily, VW is building a new plant in Chattanooga, TN, which will at least bring some jobs to the area.)

Posted by: Anonymous | December 31, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

5 dollars a gallon by the 2012 elections and we all know how to thank obama...
because after all. he stopped the drilling of oil in the gulf of mexico...

Posted by: DwightCollins

-------------------------------

This guy would blame Obama for an ingrown toenail.

His politics block alternative energy at every turn for fear of the consequences on BP's profits, and has George Will contempt for Prius drivers while America is addicted to suckling the teats of his Muslim "enemies" for their oil.

$5 gasoline is another tax on the middle class and poor to benefit the Republican's big oil contributors.

Posted by: areyousaying | December 31, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Often times when discussing the prospect of increasing gas prices, people will sarcastically remark that prices would go down if we had drilling in the Gulf. This is untrue; the difference wouldn't even be close to have any significant effect. The reserves are not nearly large enough and the cost of the drilling would be high.
We have to accept that the US government was able to artificially keep the price of gas low for us (compared to those in Europe, Japan, etc.). This has gotten us accustomed to this articifically low price.
We need to adjust our lifestyle and move forward with alternative energy. Moving away from our instant gratification with no real care for the long-term implication of our decisions needs to END. We need to live in reality or risk falling behind the rest of the world.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 31, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

i am all for $5 a gallon so that SUV sales will fall back to earth

Posted by: beastlet | December 31, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

5 dollars a gallon by the 2012 elections and we all know how to thank obama...
because after all. he stopped the drilling of oil in the gulf of mexico...

------------------------------
This is dumb and dumber. Study after study shows that domestic production has NO influence on the price of the international commodity known as crude oil. That said, I would not put it past the Fossil Fuel industry that owns the Republican Party to shift their distillation production to drive up the price of gas before the 2012 election and blame Obama. The price of gas dropped miraculously when Bush ran for re-election in 2004.

What this really shows though is the need to switch to alternative fuels as quickly as we can -- but that won't be promoted by the government policies until the Koch brothers and their ilk have their cash line to Congress cut off permanently.

Posted by: Poleman | December 31, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

If some guy said $5 a gallon, and it was print in the WaPo, then it must be true.

Posted by: whocares666 | December 31, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

There won't be any $5 a gallon gas because every time gas gets expensive enough to make alternate energy feasible, the oil companies lower the price in order to maintain their hold on us.

How many times does this happen before we get tired of those arse-holes having us by the balls?

Posted by: xconservative | December 31, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous downtown Staunton, Va dweller,

Don't pat yourself on the back too hard. That Prius you're not driving much came with a price tag that was considerably above that of a similar non-hybrid. So you'll probably not see any actual benefit until the savings you realize from your lower gas consumption make up the difference. Then, of course, higher gas prices will also impact you in the form of increased prices for any goods shipped by motor transport as well as in plastic items that are manufactured from petroleum derivatives.

Posted by: Tom-Fairfax | December 31, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

If gas prices hit $5 bucks per gallon and I was a oil company executive, I'd start wearing a kevlar vest.

I'll p*ss in my gas tank to make it go further.

Posted by: veerle1 | December 31, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Folks, there is LOTS of oil. But you have to get past supply side to understand the pricing. Since Obama is of NO MIND to allow new exploration and drilling, since there is NO move afoot to build nuclear, since the greenies have blocked over 130 coal-burning power plants, we simply have NO CHOICE but to buy oil overseas. With QE and the resulting inflation, oil producing nations demand more dollars and between countries that trade between one another, they don't even USE dollars, they use Rubles-to-Yuan, Euros-to-Eruos and Yen, the Germans are developing a new taste for the Mark. Obama and Pelosi and Bernanke set ALL of this up, period. It was their doing. Notice that every time the past thirty years the very mention of increased leases for exploration and drilling, synfuels and coal production, oil from OPEC and South America was cut by a third to a half whether we drilled or not. The OPECs will always drop prices if they think we're serious a out drilling or nuclear. But NOW? They'll sell all their excess to China and charge BIG premiums to the U.S. because our inflation is so great they know dollars are worthless.

That's all it is. So go ahead, enjoy ever-escalating gasoline and heating oil prices and don't you liberals DARE blame Bush for the recent run-up in prices. This is a Liberal-Green-Democrat effort to run up prices from start to finish. And the little people, the morons that thought Obama was a good idea are going to pay so dearly they're going to wonder what the hell happened to what's left of jobs, disposable income and even the ability to attain either.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 31, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

As long as The Bernak keeps killing the dollar with low interest rates and handing our savings to banks that speculate like JPM, GS,BofA, etc. for free, with limited margin requirements, any price is possible.

The Bernak is destroying our economy and its future pursuing his daft depression economic theory.

And when gas runs up again, there will be more defaults. That's what triggered the sub-prime payment crisis and that's why the Fed is the chief enemy of our country.

Posted by: wesatch | December 31, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Avoid short trips. If it is within a mile or so, walk. Try to drive at least 10 miles on a trip. Maintain your car well. Drive a standard transmission.

Posted by: peterroach | December 31, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

The only problem I have with $5/gal gas is that the $2/gal extra will mostly be going to the oil companies instead of the US govt. I say that the feds should beat'em to the punch and tax oil all the way up $5/gal.

But what do I know? I walk, run, ride a bicycle, use the bus and train for a substantial part of my transportation needs. And when I do need to drive, I have a Ford Escape Hybrid SUV that gets 30 mpg.

Posted by: JoStalin | December 31, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Yep. Up the gas and it doubles the grocery prices. Restaurants and food businesses suffer and offer less for more money. This is just one step closer to making Nevada the 1st official welfare/publicly known Communist state. Stars will fall off our American flag

Posted by: Anonymous | January 2, 2011 3:03 AM | Report abuse

Three comments:

1. DRILL, Baby, DRILL!!

2. If you live in a rural area (like I used to), you don't have the convenience of having nearby stores, shops, etc. to walk/bike to. For my parents (still in Middle-of-Nowhere, America) this will be very difficult for them if prices go as high as this article suggests.

3. Finally, some have commented that it's about time we Americans pay what the rest of the world pays for fuel. However, it's about time somebody points out that one major reason European countries pay so much for fuel is because it is heavily taxed.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 3, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I like my SUV, and I'll pay whatever it takes to drive it. Eat that envirofreaks!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 3, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

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