There is speculation that gasoline could be selling for a dollar or less by the first of the year. I know, that seems far fetched, yet can you believe that the price of a gallon of gasoline is now at the lowest price in 5 years?
Yet the oil companies are still making money? Exxon-Mobil posted the biggest profit in history in the third quarter of 2008! And the local gasoline stations, get this...are actually making more money in some cases, than they did when gas was $4.50 or more per gallon. They are not passing along the full price cuts to consumers as they receive them, preferring to pocket the extra profits for themselves. Maybe a windfall for awhile? Or maybe making up for some lost profit earlier in the year?
They had better be careful, because consumers are looking for bargains in this poor economy, and the station charging twenty cents a gallon more just because they're near the interstate can screw the tourists all they want, but the locals will not buy there. And, the tourist season doesn't run for 12 months. Plus, people have a long memory when it comes to what they perceive as price gouging. So stations who are not passing the discounted prices along might find their pumps vacant when supplies are all too plentiful and their customer base dries up. And their business along with it.
Still, a dollar a gallon? That's the price gas was in 1979, thirty years ago! There also was a time from about the middle of 1986 to the middle of 1987 when gas prices also dipped to a U.S. City Average of around a dollar, but again, that's 22 years ago.
Now the question will be...can we continue to conserve and act rationally (pun intended) and save fuel, so the price will stay down, supplies will remain plentiful and we'll continue to be ecologically positive at the same time? Maybe the crisis will push the car companies to create better fuel economy cars that still give us the room and performance we want, like the imports seem to do so well.
(As an aside, why can a 6 cylinder automatic BMW 3 series go like a rocket and still get 28 MPG on the highway and we can't get the same performance and fuel economy from an American made counterpart? Maybe the government will finally make Detroit answer that question with the "Bailout or Bridge Loan" or whatever they choose to call it)
At least one thing is looking up, America. That is until BIG OIL figures out how to tell everyone there is an oil shortage somehow and puts the squeeze on the pipelines. The first hurricane, earthquake, skirmish, war, shutdown, multiple refinery offline problem, or anything else they can use for an excuse to get those prices up, will be thrown at us as soon as they can to get their profits even higher.
For some reason I don't trust them with the ability to treat us fairly, as they have been hosing us for all too long at the pump already!