The Real Factors Behind Gasoline Price Volatility
Nothing infuriates Americans more than volatile, spiking gasoline prices. Often the causes given for gasoline price hikes seem contrived. Iran and Israel trade harsh words in press reports and before the ink is even dry of the page oil prices tick up. Word of a fire at an oil refinery is enough to send prices shooting up as high as the flames on the cracker – and just as fast.
Those price spikes never seem to come down nearly as fast as they shoot up. Politicians are quick to blame oil companies for gouging customers, speculators for manipulating markets, traders for withholding supply.