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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Gas Prices, The Weather, and Hybrid Cars

ABC's reporting that gas prices are expected to be high this summer. "The Energy Department's new seasonal outlook projects the price for regular grade gasoline this summer will average $2.62 a gallon," ABC says, "25 cents higher than last summer, barring any unexpected supply disruptions."

Adding to the good news, "News of any developing hurricanes and tropical storms with a potential to cause significant new outages could add to (price) volatility … in the latter part of the summer," the report said.

In related news, The Charleston Post and Courier reports, "A top hurricane forecaster predicts another exceptionally busy season in the Atlantic Ocean this year, with 17 named storms and nine hurricanes. The chance of a Category 3 or bigger storm hitting the East Coast is 64 percent, more than twice the 20th century average." So it's not so much a question of if storms cause prices to rise as when.

Which, in turn, may explain this from Gallup; "Roughly half of Americans report economizing in order to compensate for the increase in gas prices over the past year. About half say they have cut back significantly on the amount they drive. Separately, a slim majority (54%) say they have reduced their household spending on other items. Most Americans say they would consider buying a hybrid car when making their next car purchase."

Wheels within wheels, huh?

(Keywords: politics, gas prices, the pump, economy, environment, the genius of the free market )