The U.S. average for gas prices dipped to $1.75 a gallon, a near five-year low, a national survey said Sunday. The average price of self-serve gasoline dropped 22 cents in the past two weeks, said Trilby Lundberg, publisher of the Lundberg Survey.

The average, tallied on Friday, was the lowest since the $1.74 average on March 12, 2004.


Survey: Gas prices near 5-year low
Average gasoline price has dropped 22 cents in the last weeks. December 7, 2008: 5:05 PM ET

US public transport use surges despite falling gas prices
AFP, December 8, 2008

Category: Commodities, Employment

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

31 Responses to “Gas prices at 4.5-year low”

  1. Robertm73 says:
    you should get out this article from the oil drum.

  2. bernandoo says:

    The premium for storing oil is the highest for the past decade.

  3. DL says:


  4. going broke says:

    Just for thought, now that the oil “bubble” has been popped, will gold be the next really big bubble?

  5. karen says:

    in reply to going broke, let’s hope gold doesn’t reach parabolic heights but continues to be a store of value.

    i wish our post office had a program like this one in india:

  6. E says:

    I’m not so sure there is going to be a next bubble. At least not in similar magnitude to the past few bubbles. The Credit Crisis is effectively destroying all of the extra money that was sloshing around the globe and creating all of those past bubbles. The next one, whether it be treasuries, gold, tulips, 2005 Toyota Tacomas (one can hope), or whatever, will not have the rocket fuel of massive leverage.

  7. TrickStar says:

    Now’s the time to buy a 20,000 gallon tank and stock up! In 6 months, you could start selling it to your neighbors for $3.25 and then use the proceeds to buy a wind-propelled El Camino.

  8. karen says:

    E, I think there’s rocket fuel aplenty; it’s sitting in treasuries earning negative real interest rates at the moment.

  9. TrickStar says:

    Anybody think financials are a good buy yet?

  10. JohnnyVee says:

    One thing is for sure: $150 barrel of oil kills growth. If you can’t get cheap oil to make industrial production profitable, which also provides consumers with discretionary money to buy these products, then there can be no real growth.

  11. leftback says:

    Ha. Some of that rocket fuel appears to be selling off as people contemplate the miserable future of their investment in the 10-year. The usual pattern on days like this is a big buying push for stocks in the last hour or so, and selling of Treasuries would seem to support that move. I am likely to take profits and do some shorting overnight. SRS is cheap here and I really hate the REITs.

    BTW, on the subject of the double short ETFs, about a week ago or so I pointed out the bloody obvious appearance of an enormous H&S formation in the VIX, SKF and SRS. However I was summarily rubbished in this space by some know-it-all. Now that the complete retracement to SRS 80 is almost complete, would that person please consider eating a really big slice of humble pie??

    Let’s hear it for AT, his TA calls have been tremendous the past few weeks. I think we pull back a bit tomorrow and make a further push upwards later in the week. Shorts are hurting a bit here after some enormous individual stock squeezes (HIG, F, C, CHK, DRYS) and will take a while to regroup.

  12. leftback says:

    @ Trick Star: Financials are still more of a Good Bye than a Good Buy. SKF looks OK to me down here.

  13. karen says:

    Trickstar, there may be some “good” buys in financials, but they may not be “safe” buys. ntrs for example, although buying it at 33 would have been “good.” (i own ibn and jmp) here’s a list of companies with a market cap over $1 billion who’s cash exceeds the market value of their stock and debt: (list is at the bottom)

  14. I hope this blog and its participants do not ignore the external controllers of the market.

    If oil drops to $10 per barrel, does that mean that global warming suddenly ceases to exist?

  15. leftback says:

    Market cap at or below cash is a great metric, assuming that nobody is telling porkies….
    The market is still having issues concerning balance sheet transparency.

  16. TrickStar says:

    Thanks, Karen. Not uncommon for banks to have negative enterprise value. Nature of their business. I didn’t see too many US banks on that list. I’m not too comfortable with banking supervision in Nigeria ;)

    @leftback – If the USG is backing those balance sheets anyway, then I’m less concerned about how much crappy paper is in there. I guess I’m grappling with the risk of being junior man on the capital structure versus the upside resulting from the lingering stock price dips that occurred before we knew the USG would save them. Citigroup is a $7.00 stock that the USG won’t let fail. When is the right time to get in on that?

  17. leftback says:

    @ Trick: When is the right time to get in on that?

    Just after the next slaughter when they announce earnings shortfalls or new share issuance is coming.
    Dilution is your enemy. Wait for the shorts to beat these things into the ground and ride the squeezes.
    In Japan there were innumerable rounds of dilution in the banks before they reached the true bottom.

  18. Andy Tabbo says:


    You stole what I was going to write: “Mustard Seeds!”

    While I don’t like it, I must sort of agree with Kudlow on this one. One thing deflationary spirals do is get assets cheap enough that demand eventually does get stimulated once again. The old adage: “The best cure for low prices is low prices” will be proven true once again. The only question is how low do we go?

    SP500 Cash Technicals:

    The only nearby resistance is 914.34, which is the .618*(A)=(C) up from the 941 lows. So, if the market suddenly gets hit at this level, then start treading lightly bulls. If 914 gets decisively taken out, then we look good to run to 973 for an (A)=(C), which is the primary objective once a .618*(A)=(C) gets taken out.

    I’m out of the market neutral and neutral at this point. I’m seeing some good intraday RSI divergence, suggesting the market is getting a little tuckered out here.

    A couple of bigger picture things to point out…Fourth Waves should last at least as long as the Second Wave, which would be 45 trading days from the 741 lows…we’re only on Day 11. So, we’ve got a lot of whipsaw moves coming for the next several weeks. As has been the case the last several weeks, people are going to have to get real comfortable with the idea of selling jaw dropping rallies and buying the pukeouts.

    - AT

  19. TrickStar says:

    @leftback – Thanks. Back to my original thesis going into this quagmire: Stay away from Financials for 12 months. I must admit I read the title to an article in the WSJ on Saturday that tossed around the same idea, but was busying watching the UF/Bama game and never read it! Thanks again.

  20. DKTrader says:

    Looks like we’ve hit that resistance at 914. AT…would you be selling here?
    I think I’ll sell here and wait for a possible pullback tomorrow.

  21. Andy Tabbo says:


    Good question. This is a difficult level for me. For the next 24-48 hours I’m bearish looking for some consolidation/pull back. Over the next several days, I’m bullish because I think we’re going to see levels in the high 900′s. So, I’m bullearish. Which means I’m going to stay flat. My bias is to look for any pullback to buy.

    The 880 zone looks like a nice level to buy into next 24-48 hours. That’s the 38.2% and I can see a small gap on the SP500 Cash, so that’s a candidate if we get a pull back. Wall St. has an affinity for 50% retraces, so maybe we get a dip to 869. If this thing just keeps on trucking higher and we get no appreciable dip, then so be it…I’ll miss it.

    - AT

  22. Pat G. says:

    Mustard seeds? The reason oil has become so cheap is less demand. The reason there’s less demand is because more people are unemployed. As Rogers would tell you the fundamentals have not changed. There is a finite amount of oil on this rock and its non-renewable. So, kick start the economy and watch oil go right back up. Precious metals too.

  23. @ Pat G.

    with this: “There is a finite amount of oil on this rock and its non-renewable”

    are you familiar with this hypothesis(?):

    or, this report(?):

    “Projections assume that a North Slope pipeline is operational by 2016, oil and gas prices near current levels, the opening of parts of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and National Petroleum Reserve to oil drilling, and drilling access to the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, the study said.”

    note that ANWR and the Nat. Pet. Res. are two different things, aside from the Beaufort and Chukchi seas..

    only, to say, that some of our assumptions are just that. and, many, are based on, mere, conjecture..

    and, a reminder, “Peak Oil”, and its fellow-traveler “GHG-based AGW (now Climate Change)” are hideous Frauds that use the pretense of ‘Science’ to further other orders..

  24. larster says:

    I thought the oil companies followed the rock/feather approach to pricing at the pump- i.e. the prices go up as fast as a rock drops and come down as fast as a feather floats to the ground. Obviously, this is wrong.

  25. bobc7i says:

    If gas prices are at a 4.5 year low, why are businesses like my local septic company still tacking on fuel surcharges? Greed in a recession?

  26. jrnbj says:

    @ Mark Hoffer
    Wanna buy a bridge? After all, Christmas is coming.

    I’d love to believe in abiotic oil, but my faith just doesn’t run that deep.

    As far as the North Slope, goodie, another 5 YEARS supply.

    I know what Al Gore is selling, but I sure don’t know what you are……

  27. njAndrew says:

    Now would be the perfect time to raise the federal gas tax but I don’t think that will happen.

  28. jrnbj Says:

    Dude, you, really, don’t read very well, do you?

    I was, merely, asking a Q:, and pointing out a LameStream mention of the reserves, to be found, in Alaska..

    and, with this: “I know what Al Gore is selling”, care to share?

  29. and, a reminder, “Peak Oil”, and its fellow-traveler “GHG-based AGW (now Climate Change)” are hideous Frauds.

    If you could prove global warming is a scientific fraud a la Piltdown Man, you would win the Nobel Prize in physics and chemistry and the Nobel Peace Prize. Why aren’t you trying?

  30. Douglas,

    beyond the veracity of “Nobel Prizes”, or not, it has been well-reported, see:

    for starters..and re: “Peak Oil”–many of the deluded were, foresquare, sure that we’d never see sub-U$D 100/bbl. Oil again in our lifetimes..

    feel free to draw your own conclusions, I only suggest you do some additional study, beyond HeadlineNews..

  31. UN IPCC Discredited: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims

    ” I have been overly suspiciously of man-made global warming claims. The numbers just don’t add up.
    There is enough evidence that natural cycles of global warming over-ride any man-made effects (see below). I’m more leery of the threat of natural global cooling, which seems to be confirmed by a growing business case. Now we get more public scientific decent from the UN global warming conference in Poznan Poland..(hat tip to Marc Morano, Marc (EPW) for the story.)

    Business that uses the threat of global warming as a pretext to sell their technology solutions may be in trouble. Issues of sustainability and possibly global cooling are still very real however.—Walter Derzko

    As I wrote in 2006:

    Everyone seems to be making the assumption that it is CO2 or other greenhouse gases that is causing temperature spikes. I’m not entirely convinced. Other scientists question this too and offer other explanations. There are detractors who present a strong scientific case such as Robert H. Essenhigh of Ohio state who supports this different view. In a Ohio State Press Release called Global Warming is Natural and that it may end within 20 Years he cites a 1995 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a panel formed by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme in 1988 to assess the risk of human-induced climate change.

    In the report, the IPCC wrote that some 90 billion tons of carbon as carbon dioxide annually circulate between the earth’s ocean and the atmosphere, and another 60 billion tons exchange between the vegetation and the atmosphere. Compared to man-made sources’ emission of about 5 to 6 billion tons per year, the natural sources would then account for more than 95 percent of all atmospheric carbon dioxide, Essenhigh said

    Scientists have discovered extraordinarily precise data on rainfall in the Mediterranean region from 200 B.C. to 1100 A.D. which suggests that the fall of the Roman and Byzantine empires may have been partly caused by [natural] climate change (dropping rainfall and drought)

    Source: Did Climate Change Kill the

    Roman Empire

    ? Scientists Have New Tool to Reconstruct Ancient Climate, Season by Season

    POZNAN, Poland – The UN global warming conference currently underway in Poland is about to face a serious challenge from over 650 dissenting scientists from around the globe who are criticizing the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore. Set for release this week, a newly updated U.S. Senate Minority Report features the dissenting voices of over 650 international scientists, many current and former UN IPCC scientists, who have now turned against the UN. The report has added about 250 scientists (and growing) in 2008 to the over 400 scientists who spoke out in 2007. The over 650 dissenting scientists are more than 12 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers.

    The U.S. Senate report is the latest evidence of the growing groundswell of scientific opposition rising to challenge the UN and Gore. Scientific meetings are now being dominated by a growing number of skeptical scientists. The prestigious International Geological Congress, dubbed the geologists’ equivalent of the Olympic Games, was held in Norway in August 2008 and prominently featured the voices and views of scientists skeptical of man-made global warming fears. [See Full report Here: & See: Skeptical scientists overwhelm conference: '2/3 of presenters and question-askers were hostile to, even dismissive of, the UN IPCC' ]

    Full Report Set To Be Released in the Next 24 Hours – Stay Tuned…

    A hint of what the upcoming report contains:

    “I am a skeptic…Global warming has become a new religion.” – Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.

    “Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly….As a scientist I remain skeptical.” – Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology and formerly of NASA who has authored more than 190 studies and has been called “among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years.”

    Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” – UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

    “The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesn’t listen to others. It doesn’t have open minds… I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists,” – Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University and a board member of the UN-supported International Year of the Planet.

    “The models and forecasts of the UN IPCC “are incorrect because they only are based on mathematical models and presented results at scenarios that do not include, for example, solar activity.” – Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, a researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico

    “It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming.” – U.S Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA.

    “Even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will.” – . Geoffrey G. Duffy, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering of the University of Auckland, NZ.

    “After reading [UN IPCC chairman] Pachauri’s asinine comment [comparing skeptics to] Flat Earthers, it’s hard to remain quiet.” – Climate statistician Dr. William M. Briggs, who specializes in the statistics of forecast evaluation, serves on the American Meteorological Society’s Probability and Statistics Committee and is an Associate Editor of Monthly Weather Review.

    “For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?” – Geologist Dr. David Gee the chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress who has authored 130 plus peer reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.

    “Gore prompted me to start delving into the science again and I quickly found myself solidly in the skeptic camp…Climate models can at best be useful for explaining climate changes after the fact.” – Meteorologist Hajo Smit of Holland, who reversed his belief in man-made warming to become a skeptic, is a former member of the Dutch UN IPCC committee.

    “Many [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out quietly (from promoting warming fears), without having their professional careers ruined.” – Atmospheric physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh.

    “Creating an ideology pegged to carbon dioxide is a dangerous nonsense…The present alarm on climate change is an instrument of social control, a pretext for major businesses and political battle. It became an ideology, which is concerning.” – Environmental Scientist Professor Delgado Domingos of Portugal, the founder of the Numerical Weather Forecast group, has more than 150 published articles.

    “CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another….Every scientist knows this, but it doesn’t pay to say so…Global warming, as a political vehicle, keeps Europeans in the driver’s seat and developing nations walking barefoot.” – Dr. Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University in Japan.

    “The [global warming] scaremongering has its justification in the fact that it is something that generates funds.” – Award-winning Paleontologist Dr. Eduardo Tonni, of the Committee for Scientific Research in Buenos Aires and head of the Paleontology Department at the University of La Plata.

    -Walter Derzko