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Posted on Wed, May 4, 2011 : 6:24 p.m.

Michigan's gas prices set state record at $4.26 a gallon, nation's sixth-highest: But why here?

By Kyle Feldscher

Gasoline prices may be high around the country, but Michigan is feeling a special kind of pain this week, when the average number at the pump today set a state record of $4.26.

Why us?

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Gas prices Wednesday at a BP station, 3230 S. State St., in Ann Arbor.

Melanie Maxwell |

An industry analyst said problems at Midwest oil refineries and a squeeze on supply nationwide are to blame for Michigan’s high gas prices.

Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for, said any state touching one of the Great Lakes is seeing its average gas price climb above the national average due to local refinery problems.

The Detroit News reported today that refineries in the Midwest and in the South have been temporarily shut down for maintenance.

The catastrophic tornadoes that swept through the southern United States last month also temporarily shut down power to some oil refineries in the Gulf Coast region.

Meanwhile, Michigan and other Midwest states are switching from wintertime fuels to summertime gas, a type of fuel that evaporates more slowly, according to the Detroit News report. The summer blend of fuel is more expensive to refine.

The refinery woes mean supply is decreasing right as the summer driving season gets rolling, forcing up demand, DeHaan said.

But relief is in sight, DeHaan said — at least a little.

“For the time being, prices will remain high for another week to three weeks,” DeHaan said. “Once the refinery issues are sorted out, we should see prices come back down to the national average, which is $3.96 (per gallon).”

Michigan currently has the sixth-highest average gas price in the country, sitting just under $4.25 per gallon, according to According to reports, prices in some areas were as high as $4.26 per gallon earlier today, a state record.

This afternoon at Ann Arbor gas stations, prices ranged from $4.19 to $4.36 for a gallon of regular, according to

The price jump comes as some Ann Arbor area commuters are already strapping on bike helmets for the getDowntown Commuter Challenge. Pedal power, as always, remains free.

Kyle Feldscher covers K-12 education for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:14 p.m.

It's being reported in Ann Arbor's alternative newspaper (the New York Times) that commodity prices are plummeting as investors cash in before a slump. A 30% drop in oil/gas prices is expected. But I wanted high speed rail to Detroit!!! Waaaahhhhhhhh!


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 1:56 p.m.

Gas was $1.87 when Bush left office. Yes, it was lowered as the election approached... to get voters to vote Republican (the oil company's love Repubs). Remember? Thats how stupid they think we are. Now it is being inflated to get us angry at Obama. Not working here. As a nation... we are really a*&l when it comes to Gasoline. Its business as usual for me no matter what gasoline does. I live in a town where Meijer and Wal Mart have gas stations across the street from each other. It is amusing to see the cattle line up at the trough five deep when one lowers their price five cents lower than the other. Really, how much is your time worth?

Marshall Applewhite

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 7:42 p.m.

This is a situation where the interests of oil speculators, the president, and various governmental units across the country are all aligned. Unless you live close enough to ride a moped or bicycle to work every day, you pretty much have to grin and bear it.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 5:39 p.m.

This is another reason why we should stop subsidizing sprawl, and promote sensible mass transit, and denser, walkable communities.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 3:51 p.m.

Dearborn near Outer Drive has been hovering around 4.09. I am there on Friday. Will get my gas there. Can't believe we are back to 2 years ago and hi gas prices. I still blame the president for this one. Glad to hear it will go down somewhat. Although not low enough for my liking.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 4:20 p.m.

from Top Republicans blame President Obama's moratorium on deepwater drilling for rising gasoline prices. The moratorium delayed drilling of some new wells, but did not affect the output of wells already in production. A projected drop in total domestic oil production this year should amount to six-tenths of 1 percent of all U.S. consumption of liquid fuels. A Wall Street oil analyst told us the moratorium has had "zero" effect on prices. Sarah Palin said Obama is "allowing America to remain increasingly dependent on imports" from unstable countries. But there has been a decline — not an increase — in total oil imports from Middle Eastern and African countries, as well as countries identified by the State Department as "dangerous or unstable," since Obama took office. Rep. Kevin McCarthy said "under this administration our output has gone down 13 percent." McCarthy is wrong — U.S. oil production was up in 2009 and 2010, and is projected to decline only 2 percent this year


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 4:14 p.m.

Why do you blame the president?


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 3:26 p.m.

Not mentioned yet in this discussion is the fact that many refineries have been shuttered by oil companies. A lot of small independent refineries were purchased by Exxon, KOCH Industries etc and closed. The reason? control of supply. When other businesses have to close portions of their business for rebuilding/maintenance etc they usually open an annex or make other arrangements so as to not burden their customers.

Ron Granger

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:32 p.m.

"The Detroit News reported today that refineries in the Midwest and in the South have been temporarily shut down for maintenance." -- Oh.. In other words, it sounds like we are being "ERON'd". Given the billions in hand-outs we pay to the industry, one benefit should be mandatory industry cooperation in coordinating maintenance shutdowns so as to not impact availability and pricing. Even without the handouts, in exchange for spewing the pollution, stink, etc, non-emergency maintenance should be coordinated. If that isn't a matter of national security, and of national economic health, then what is?


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.

"An industry analyst said problems at Midwest oil refineries and a squeeze on supply nationwide are to blame for Michigan's high gas prices." "The Detroit News reported today that refineries in the Midwest and in the South have been temporarily shut down for maintenance. " I have heard PRECISELY these excuses for higher gas prices every summer since 2000. Yes, that's right, long before 9-11, Iraq, Iran, and the current State and national government administrations. Why do I remember? Because that year I worked at a job with several temporary contractors from the East Coast, who were astonished at rising gas prices, and we had many lunchroom discussions on the topic. The real reason is GREED! Any other excuse is a red herring.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 3:53 p.m.

I agree with dougfair on this one. Greed and hoarding the profits so big biz can pay their mighty CEO's with moneyed squeezed from us.

L. C. Burgundy

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 3:04 p.m.

Early May shutdowns are the norm due to changes in the multitude gas formulations required by the EPA. Contact the EPA if you don't like their practice of requiring dozens of different boutique gasoline blends for different parts of the country.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:18 p.m.

Gas was $1.87 when Bush left office. Do you miss him yet?


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 3:27 p.m.

"Do you miss him yet?" Not even a little bit. It is nice to have a president that has a grasp of the English language.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:44 p.m.

Atticus what do you think that average will be when Obama leaves office? $5, $6 per gallon? Higher, or lower? I say it will be $5-$6.

Atticus F.

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:34 p.m.

The average price of gas during Bush's presidency was about $3.50. The average price of gas during Obama's presidency whas been about $3.00.

John Q

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:12 p.m.

Thank Sarah Palin. She pushed for an increase in taxes on oil production in Alaska and used that money to line the pockets of Alaskan voters.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 3:16 p.m.

It is certainly not her fault, but it is funny that she did raise taxes on energy, then ran against taxes on energy! I guess she was for it before she was against it. A recurring theme for her and many GOP candidates for high office.

John Q

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 3:15 p.m.

Are you going to claim that Alaska's taxes on oil production have no effect on gas prices?


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:16 p.m.

Really John you're going to blame Palin. If we were drilling like she suggested how much do you think gas would cost?


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 1:07 p.m.

Maybe it's time to nationalize our resources. This could be done from drilling through refining to getting it to the consumers. The profits would not have to be so vast, as they are now. Get rich quick speculators would not be around to artificially drive up prices. Refineries could be better maintained without worrying about how better maintenance would cut into profits. Funds garnered from sales could be put back to work directly for the people. You know, the free market economy is not best for all.

John Q

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 4:28 p.m.

Also explain how inflation is even a concern when workers wages are stagnant or falling and unemployment is still over 9% nationally.

John Q

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 3:16 p.m.

Good, you can point us to where that evidence of inflation exists.

L. C. Burgundy

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:47 p.m.

John, many commodities and food prices are up, up, up significantly, some moreso than oil. Atticus, I would also say that the current administration's attitude toward domestic energy policy (i.e., it doesn't really have one that makes any sense) isn't helping either.

Atticus F.

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:31 p.m.

L.C., the dollar has not lost value nearly as quickly as the rise in gas prices. It sound like you are ignoring the facts in favor of believing that this was caused by people with whom you disagree with politically.

John Q

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:13 p.m.

"Bernanke engages in (basically, printing money, which, surprise surprise, causes inflation)." That's amazing that we have inflation occurring in the oil sector and almost no where else. How does that happen?

L. C. Burgundy

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:07 p.m.

Oil nationalization would be disastrous in the US. Oil is fungible and the US certainly doesn't have the most world oil reserves. I can think of few better ways to destroy investment in America. Prices high because of the cratering value of the dollar worldwide due to the out of control debt and budget problems, as well as quantitative easement that Ben Bernanke engages in (basically, printing money, which, surprise surprise, causes inflation). Nationalization is, at best, denial of the real problems, not to mention arbitrary, capricious, and totally illegal, and the refuge of dictators and scoundrels.

Jon Saalberg

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 1:02 p.m.

Ride a bike. Really. I found at least one article that states nearly 50% of car trips are three miles or less, and more than 25% are less than a mile. Are we really that lazy?


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 5:38 p.m.

Another reason why we should stop subsidizing sprawl, and promote sensible mass transit, and denser, walkable communities.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 3:56 p.m.

Plus if you have all that stuff to carry home? Someone might not be paying attention and make you drop all your stuff to boot. Especially if they do not help to pick it up. Biking is great if you are to the local ice cream store. But I agree, not to the local market.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 3:05 p.m.

sorry I can't carry a weeks worth of groceries, bags of stuff from home depot etc...on my bike.Most seniors can't ride to the bank on a bike etc... the list goes on


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 12:57 p.m.

I admit, I don't know too much about what exactly drives gas prices; however, it irks me that prices continue to go up while the oil companies post billions of dollars in profits every quarter. I understand companies need to make a profit to survive but when Exxon is posting an $11 billion profit for the first quarter while gas is over $4/gallon, I think that's just ridiculous.

L. C. Burgundy

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:12 p.m.

Also, oil company profits as a percentage of revenue is something on the order of 9%. That's not really that impressive (software companies regularly achieve over 30% profit in an industry with far less capital investment required), and there's no indication of "profiteering."

L. C. Burgundy

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:04 p.m.

Oil is fungible, and its price is set on a worldwide open market. It doesn't help that the current administration has a reputation for stifling energy development (interestingly enough to the great benefit of the largest and foreign producers). Gas price controls were tried in the 70's - all you got were slightly lower prices and no supply.

DaLast word

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 12:47 p.m.

In 2006 the Dems where blaming the high price of gas on George's in action. Now O'bama seems to be getting a pass on this. Drill here, Drill NOW what are we waiting for. I think this is all part of the Dem agenda to get us to drive smaller cars.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 3:14 p.m.

LC, ANWAR and the gulf are meerly foils, not reasons. It makes good press to blame the govt for ills. There are LOTS of places that have oil/gas in this country that are not protected environments, and they are not being tapped right now. After the BP and AK spills, don't you think it makes sense to take a good look at how we are drilling and where, what the consequences may be for failure? Drill Now, Drill here, drill baby drill makes for good soundbites, but it lacks logic. Remember, the same folks that are telling you to drill, baby, drill, are the same folks that warned you about Iraqi wmd's, the perils of banking regulation and the benefits of NAFTA and MFN status for China.

L. C. Burgundy

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

Blaine, if no one wants to produce more oil in the US, why does the Secretary of the Interior need to be block lease efforts in the Gulf? Why does ANWR drilling have to be blocked? If no one want to drill there, why would you need to block drilling there? What you're saying doesn't make any sense.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:31 p.m.

Agreed Clownfish. As long as it is much, much cheaper to pump a barrel of oil out of the ground in the Middle East than it is in Texas and ANWAR, you're not going to get any additional American production without massive government subsidies. And those subsidies don't make any sense, given the problems associated with fossil fuel use.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 1:01 p.m.

If we all drove smaller cars, demand would be less, supply would be higher. What does The Market tell us about such a situation? Oh, right, Dem Agenda! The energy you CONserve today is energy your kids will have to use when they hit your age. The energy you use today is gone, your kids will not have it. But, that is OK, science will save us (unless science is used for stem cell research, points toward climate change, or teaches evolution, that is bad science. Good science is fusion!)


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 12:57 p.m.

Take a look at unused oil/gas leases in AK, the west and in the gulf. Thousands of them. It is not policy that hods back energy production, it is the companies that don't drill now or here. Why should they? If they say there is a short supply they get more for every barrel pulled out of the ground. If the public lands n AK were opened tomorrow and production started immediately, how much do you think it would effect the price of gas? As it would account for a couple of percentage points of production, and the oil would go to Asia, not the US, how does that get prices down in the US?


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 12:45 p.m.

Why are gas prices so high??? One word: SPECULATORS! And Speculators are REALLY glad to see that the public in general continues to take their bait. Conservatives will blame "Obama and his pals", Liberals blame "Tea-baggers and Palin". Keep bickering and blameing each other as the fellas' on Wall Street keep manipulating the foundation of our society... which is supply and demand. As someone on this board said... Americans want to place blame in conspiracy therories. How very smug of you to say. Our oil RESERVES today are just as high as they were when oil hit the floor at $30bbl, near record highs mind you... supply being high, prices should be low right??? Basic econ 101. Supply high, prices low; supply low, prices high. Yet, oil PRICES are nearing record highs. HUGH??? Simple deduction: One of two things are happening. 1: The dollar which pays for that oil is so devalued, it's boardering on the same value Zimbaubwe Dollar! OR... 2: Oil prices are being manipulated... And if that is the case, which it is... we've already been down that road before in 2008-2009. One day oil is worth $140 bbl, the next it's selling for $30 bbl. I believe number two will take place sooner rather than later... Not that it will hurt the Speculators any, they've made their cash and will reload and do it all over again using their same methods of pitting one group against another... TIME TO WAKE UP! It's not that difficult to see. Ohh... by the way, US Energy Information Administration will not prepare or publish US oil and gas reserves data for 2011 as it cuts $15.2 million budget. Hugh??? Really??? Having such important data available to the public as HOW MUCH OIL WE HAVE IN RESERVE is gettng whacked because we don't have $15 million to compile such data??? REALLY??? The bridge over Stadium and State doesn't even cost that much. Conspiracy theories... Why would one stoop so elementry to explanations???


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 12:25 p.m.

If I recall the last time we hit $4 a gallon are prices were right up there with the likes of California which has much higher tax imposed. We pay just as much because they can get away with it, it has to do with greed with the local owners. We are normally $.15 - $.20 cheaper than back west, it's pay back time for them. I hope it continues to rise, I have Chevron and BP in my portfolio's. Greedy sob.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 12:40 p.m.

So, as long as you are making money you have little concern about our national economy tanking? Is that the same attitude you might have toward, say, a union member asking that their pay and benefits not be cut?


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 12:21 p.m.

There is no shortage of oil or gasoline. Driving up the price is speculation on the commodities market. You guys can blame govt all you want, it don't hold water. Look deep into the issue and what you will find at the bottom is greed, the desire of many to maximize profit with no regard to societal consequences. Speculation on oil was the spike that killed the economy in 2007/8 (before the dread socialist Obama took office and before quantitative easing) and it is the spike that is killing us again. Greed, no Family Value.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:16 p.m.

I was just telling my daughter the other day that the last time gas prices were this high everything went to...well you know what I mean.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 11:51 a.m.

We ignore the State of Michigan's role in this. Michigan drove out of busines the refinery in Alma. The State agreed with enviromentalist that after 7 years of jumpimg through hoops and spending millions an oil well in Mid Michigan should be shut down. Why.? Michigan has 2 Senators and various represenatives, who believe an element, CO2, that is 358 parts per million should be taxed so the government can redistribute more wealth. A side note oxegen is 200,000 parts per million in the atmosphere. If we want lower gas prices we need to elect officials that will actually support with their votes they issuses they campaign on.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 3:51 p.m.

LC, people made the same economic argument about the Clean Air Act. It'll kill our economy. I'll cost us jobs. It'll cost us money. Know what -- it hasn't done any of that. The scare tactics didn't work. And the law saves money by reducing early mortality and illness.

L. C. Burgundy

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:57 p.m.

DBlaine, Um, yes, letting the market decide means letting people decide how much they want to pay for how much they want of something. Relatively inexpensive energy is roughly one half of the reason we aren't sitting around scraping a miserable existence out of the ground and dead IN the ground by age 40. Sure we'll have other sources - when the price comes to that point. It's the magic of the market. How do you think the system supporting automobile ever came about? The U.S. Oil and Gas Planning Commission with Five Year Plans? It was called market demand and supply. We're nowhere near exhausting conventional fuel sources at this point anyway. The US is the Saudi Arabia of coal and natural gas - our resources are truly VAST in these areas. As for the "climate change" argument - really, it's pointless. You'll never get China and India to go along with any sort of carbon tax/cap scheme worth anything, and then we would just be cutting our throat for some empty moral victory, I suppose. Any carbon scheme that means anything will necessarily gut standards of living and economies. People just won't stand for that.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:30 p.m.

LC, Letting the market figure this out apparently means letting us burn all the gasoline we want. If we do this: It will have a devastating effect on our climate. We will not have any suitable alternative energy sources. And, if we're going to let the market figure this out, does that mean we'll eliminate all of the subsidies we give to gasoline. So we'll actually pay the REAL cost? It must might go up.

L. C. Burgundy

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:01 p.m.

clown, those are nice words, but that doesn't actually make any sense. If we "conserve" (artificially constrain or end oil use to the detriment of the local economy) oil, what's the next generation after the next supposed to do? Who are we conserving for exactly, and when? Perhaps we should let the market figure this one out instead of trying to pick the winners and losers in energy a priori.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 12:22 p.m.

The reason for carbon taxes is not redistribution of wealth, it is to quantify the costs of our carbon based economy and to promote CONservation so that future generations may enjoy what you take for granted, energy. Sorry that does not fit Glenn Becks Theory du-jour.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 11:13 a.m.

I just think of it as Jimmy Carter's second term.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 11:29 a.m.

I had the same thought. I can't wait for the stagflation now that I am on a fixed income.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 11:04 a.m.

They always have an excuse for upping the prices , how about WE ARE JUST GOUGING YOU for an excuse. They are making record profits but it cost more to refine ? BULL crap.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 10:54 a.m.

20 most profitable companies - Exxon Mobil rode high oil prices to a staggering $30 billion in income, making it the most profitable Fortune 500 company for the eighth year in a row. Chevron #3. (Chevron boosted earnings 82% in 2010. ) ConocoPhillips #16 (ConocoPhillips grew earnings 134% in 2010.)................... What more needs to be said? <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Angry Moderate

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 4:40 p.m.

The headline says $30 billion in income. The article says $30 billion in profit. The relevant question is, what is their profit margin?


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 3:58 a.m.

It's interesting to me that when it comes to the topic of gas prices, people are considerably more willing to accept ridiculous conspiracy theories rather than the most obvious and logical explanations. I guess it's easier for some people to swallow if they have some fictional shady character to whom they can assign blame rather than dispassionate market forces. There are plenty of reasons why gas is going up 1) The dollar is losing value and it just so happens that oil is priced in dollars. 2) Commodities are a natural harbor that investors seek when inflation is anticipated (See Also: Gold, Silver) 3) The global economy is starting to pick up steam again and that means more demand for oil. 4) The aforementioned localized factors presented in this article. Everyone loves a boogie man but you just aren't going to find one here. Rather than waste your time proposing a plethora of unintended consequences nightmares, you should consider one of the two things which actually has the potential to lower gas prices: 1) Drill more 2) Use less Take your pick.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 5:07 p.m.

... or biking. Exercise, good health, and released endorphines could probably do all of us a great deal of good. Take that, big oil.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.

'what are we going to do, not drive?' Another reason to support sensible mass transit in Michigan.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 1:42 p.m.

There's some kool-aid you can drink over by the bridge I want to sell you. The gas market is just as corrupt as the stock market. People are making billions because we... well, we'll pay whatever they ask. What are we going to do, not drive?


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 1:26 p.m.

What about using both options?

David Briegel

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:44 a.m.

tim, You mean the Banksters are having their way with us AGAIN? Golly, who woulda thunk it? Gotta earn those bonuses. Just can't do it honestly!!


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 1:59 a.m.

NPR had a good discussion on this topic today-- A few points 1. there is a glut of oil on the market and supply is more than demand. 2. speculator are driving up prices buy dumping a lot of money into oil. 3.The money that the banks are using is interest free money from government loans ( was suppose to be used for business loans to spur on hiring.

John Q

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:07 p.m.

&quot;Also, when banks borrow money from the fed, they pay interest.&quot; They sure do - at interest rates none of us could ever get for the loans we ask for from the banks. That helps explain the profits that many financial institutions are making these days.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 10:30 a.m.

Please show me where banks are getting FREE MONEY from the gov. The bail out money were loans, with interest, to the banks that chose to take it. Also, when banks borrow money from the fed, they pay interest.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 3:28 a.m.

Commodities are one of the first places that money flows when inflationary fears are stoked. We've seen it with gold and now we are seeing it with oil. This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone when quantitative easing is being used to devalue the dollar which just so happens to be the currency that oil is priced in right now on the global market. It's not that oil is getting more expensive, it's that the dollar is simply getting worth less.

David Briegel

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 12:45 a.m.

And Don, maybe since this is going up so dramatically we won't have to steal the future of Grandma and every poor person and pensioner? Nah, wouldn't be prudent!!!!!!!1

David Briegel

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 12:43 a.m.

If only we could cut their taxes more. And, oh yeah, increase those subsidies! Yeah, more subsidies and tax cuts. That would make every TeaPublican extremely happy. Get that evil Big Gubbermint of their back...... Gee, If Only...............


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 3:23 a.m.

They do. Go ahead and give google a whirl. If you confuse the tea party movement with the Republican party, as it appears you have, then it is no small wonder that you are having trouble making the connection. Republicans who rode to office on Tea Party enthusiasm are still members of the Republican party first and not direct representatives of the Tea Party movement regardless of how much they'd like to co-opt that movement as their own. Of course, I would have expected fiscal liberals to be quite excited by the prospect of oil subsidies. The amount of benefit derived by the subsidies is considerably slanted towards the lower income brackets as gas costs as a percentage of income are regressive in nature. You don't need a PhD in economics to understand the relationship between subsidies and pricing though it might help. I'm not for it, but if you wanted to redistribute wealth to lower income brackets than subsidizing the energy industry would be a very clever approach to the problem. Most people aren't smart enough to make the connection and I'm sure this thread will be no exception.

David Briegel

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:57 a.m.

Then why don't they demand that Boehner and McConnell end all the subsidies? Your argument holds no water because that is the reality. Teapublican pork is patriotic. Corporate Golden Rules!!


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:50 a.m.

Tax cuts certainly but you'd be hard pressed to find a teapartier who is gung ho about the prospect of any form of subsidies. That's just a bunch of hot air at best and a straw man argument at worst.


Wed, May 4, 2011 : 11:03 p.m.

Impose a strict carbon tax--then redistribute half the money to those who can not afford higher gas prices, AND to those who become &quot;greener&quot;. Use the other half to invest in alternative energy sources. Plus, lower the sales tax--it hurts the poor exponentially.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 12:27 p.m.

This is a lot bigger than gas prices. This is also about global climate change--gas prices may be high, but we are not even close to paying the REAL price of oil. The real price as in: how much environmental damage it causes.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 3:05 a.m.

Under what scenario could you possibly imagine additional taxes on gas not resulting in an increase in the price of gas? The only thing you will have accomplished is making gas even more unaffordable for the most economically vulnerable. To add insult to injury, you will have also added cost to any store bought item which relies heavily on energy for production and transportation. The most obvious item being food. Putting a regressive tax on gas and food isn't exactly going to help out people who are already struggling to afford gas as it is. The redistribution scheme would require yet another bureaucracy to administer the funds leaving us with a measurable degree of economic inefficiency where distributions from the redistribution scheme would fall short of the proceeds of the tax. If you want to improve standards of living for economically disadvantaged folks, putting more economic drag into the system is not the best plan. All wishful thinking and poorly conceived plans aside, there are only TWO realistic ways to lower gas prices: 1) Drill more 2) Use less


Wed, May 4, 2011 : 10:44 p.m.

To learn about the real reasons, listen to this: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, May 4, 2011 : 10:38 p.m.

Completely ridiculous explanation--seasonal hot air to justify the gouging and speculation that's combining with global demand to drive prices up. And if taxes were higher perhaps it would narrow the margins exploited by refiners and we'd get better fuel consumption on smoother pavements.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 3:25 p.m.

J5: Demand has been down for the past 1 1/2 much for &quot;using less&quot; as an argument for lower prices. Most signs point to companies raising prices when demand for &quot;product A&quot; goes down - gotta keep the profits coming in (short term, always short-term thinking...) It's gouging - and yes, with collusion by the oil and refinery giants...anti-trust law? Hahahah, these tools have practically PURCHASED the SCOTUS...and you think they quake in their boots at &quot;anti-trust&quot; laws? Hahahahha! *too rich*

5c0++ H4d13y

Thu, May 5, 2011 : 10:23 a.m.

How does one &quot;speculate&quot; on retail gas? How do I get in on it?


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:47 a.m.

&quot;And if taxes were higher perhaps it would narrow the margins exploited by refiners&quot; Well if that isn't the most naive thing I've heard all day. Taxes are treated just like any cost and are passed on through to the consumer. If taxes go up one cent, so goes the price of gas. The gouging claim is the second most naive thing I've heard all day. Where is your evidence? Financial statements from every major oil company are freely available online. Where are the outrageous margins? You won't find them. I tried and had much difficulty finding any oil companies doing better than 8% profit on revenues. If these guys have some how managed to form a secret cartel amongst themselves, at the risk of running afoul of anti-trust law and ending in prison, for the purpose of engaging in economic collusion and price gouging, then they are doing a crummy job of it.


Wed, May 4, 2011 : 10:33 p.m.

DUH - could it be the 6 percent sales tax? Unlike other taxes, this one increases as the price goes up. If you remove the sales tax, the price would be closer to $4 even. Good news for the state tax revenue.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.

The 19 cent state tax and 33 cent federal tax goes to road improvements. Since these taxes have not been raised in a long time -- the federal tax has been the same since 1993 -- they do not collect enough money to pay for road maintenance. These taxes are NOT responsible for the rise in gas prices.


Thu, May 5, 2011 : 1:24 p.m.

Sales tax is not the only tax that gasoline is subject to. According to the State of Michigan's website, there is a &quot;state road&quot; tax of 19 cents per gallon. In addition, the federal tax rate on gasoline is 13.9 cents per gallon. Add the 32.9 cents to the six percent, and that gives you how much you are paying in taxes. A quick &quot;Ctrl F&quot; shows no mention of taxes in the article. Hmm...