After initially selling off on the bin Laden news, Oil prices have rallied back to new highs. Since we are about to enter the prime driving/gasoline consumption period fo the year, let’s have a closer looks at Gasoline Prices across the US:

click for larger chart

Chart courtesy of Bianco Research

Category: Energy, Technical Analysis

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.

22 Responses to “Chart of the Day: National Gasoline Prices”

  1. louiswi says:

    I found out today my pick-up truck holds $85.00 worth of gas. I had no idea it held that much.

  2. dougc says:

    Remember, the fed policy of easy money did not cause the price of oi land commodities to increase and it is only temporary just like fed policy did not cause the 2000 stock bubble or the housing bubble. Come to think about it the housing and stock bubbles were only temporary .

  3. socaljoe says:

    Having just returned from Maui, where gas is $5/gal, I am struck by thought that you can move a ton of material from Kaanapali beach to the top of Haleakela, at 10000 ft elevation, for less than $10. Try doing that with manual labor.

    Even at $100/gal, gasoline would still be, by far, the cheaper alternative.

  4. cognos says:

    The boom / bust aspect of these prices is amazing.

    The lows hit in Jan 2009 (seriously, Jan 2009!) are basically 1985 levels on gasoline.

    Another bust will come again.

  5. Thalamus says:

    We are heading to $200 a barrel this year. Just like 2008, it doesn’t take long to advance from here.

  6. wally says:

    “I am struck by thought that you can move a ton of material from Kaanapali beach to the top of Haleakela, at 10000 ft elevation, for less than $10″

    The problem is that every American is hauling almost two tons of deadload everywhere they go, independent of the actual payload they want to move… and out whole country is built around the notion that this is a good idea.

  7. ironman says:

    In case anyone is interested, there’s a long-running correlation between gas prices and future unemployment (the unemployment rate two years from now). What today’s gas prices and the current government projections suggest is that unemployment will rise above today’s level to settle above 9% in 2013, even if gas prices do eventually fall back to $3.60 per gallon. Double-digit unemployment rates are a real, but at this writing, low, probability.

    In the short term, that same correlation suggests the U.S. unemployment rate will bottom somewhere in the 8.3-8.6% range this year and next.

    [Quick side note on the correlation - you'll notice a pretty big gap between gas prices and the unemployment rate of two years later in the years from 2003 through 2006 - that's the effect of the housing bubble, which more than offset the effect of rising gas prices upon the U.S. employment situation during that period. Without a similar exception at work now, we can expect the correlation between gas prices and unemployment to be stronger today.]

  8. curbyourrisk says:

    January 2009….and then ROCKET TO THE MOON.
    What happened in January 2009 that made gas go higher.

    Oh yeah…..Obama was inaugurated.

  9. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Good point, wally.

  10. socaljoe says:

    Unfortunately, unlike many other developed countries, the US has eschewed mass transit and chosen the automobile (frequently SUV) as means of personal transportation. We have also chosen to live in bedroom communities which are frequently far removed from our places of work. Both of these concepts will need to be reconsidered as the price of gasoline moves inexorably higher.

  11. KJ Foehr says:

    “January 2009….and then ROCKET TO THE MOON.
    What happened in January 2009 that made gas go higher.
    Oh yeah…..Obama was inaugurated.”

    In 2001 gas prices were about $1.75, by July 2008 they reached $4.10. What happened in 2001 that made gas prices go up? By your logic it would have to be because two Texas oilmen became Pres. and VP. But somehow I don’t think you are going to agree with that.

    I don’t agree with it either, nor do I agree with your conclusion, but if you think it’s true for one then it must be true for the other.

    And there is another detail that must be considered: the reason it fell from $4.10 to $1.63 was the global financial crisis, stock market crash, and the Great Recession. The fact that the price rose AGAIN back to where it was BEFORE is evidence of economic recovery more than anything else, imo.

    Personally I think oil and gas prices are determined by other factors outside the control of the current or the former president, things like supply and demand, revolutions in oil producing countries, speculation, and excessive money printing by the Fed.

  12. curbyourrisk says:

    supply and demand??? Demand has been declining since 2008 and supply out of the ground is at the highest ever.

  13. KJ Foehr says:

    “supply and demand??? Demand has been declining since 2008 and supply out of the ground is at the highest ever.”

    I thought that demand declining since 2008 would be easy to refute, but it appears current data is hard to find and I don’t have time to research it. But I will stand by my statement that the law of supply and demand still holds.

    And I believe that $113 per barrel is prima facie evidence of greater buying demand for oil, either on the spot market or in futures contracts, than those wanting to sell it. I do think, however, that some of this is speculative demand, not usage demand, and I believe a relatively small amount of incremental speculative buying can drive up the price significantly.

  14. mathman says:

    i can’t believe we’ll still be wasting gas cutting our lawns as the price continues to climb into the $5 range and beyond. Time to start digging up the lawn and planting stuff you can eat.

    Other than that, i expect the collapse of the dollar to continue apace, until it won’t matter how many dollars we have – they’ll be all but worthless (like Zimbabwean currency).

  15. ByteMe says: is your friend, KJ.

    The lows hit in Jan 2009 (seriously, Jan 2009!) are basically 1985 levels on gasoline.

    We hit about $1.00 at the end of 2001.

  16. dmasshole says:

    We keep using this resource as if its infinite and obviously it is not. Supply & Demand & the Bumpy Oil Plateau. SocalJoe makes a good point as far as reconsidering lifestyle choices as oil & gasoline prices move higher..and they invariably will..How much oil is left in Saudi Arabia? How much oil is wasted when we drill offshore for more of it? Another interesting graph would show population throughout history and one would observe the huge spike in population as we become more dependent on oil.

  17. rip says:

    @KJ: agree with the speculation part. Massively. Although the truth will never be allowed.
    BSO can commission all the studies he wants, the outcome will be the same as before. No “evidence” of speculation being the problem.

    Well his word was “fraud”. Duh. That’s good press, but there’s nothing fraudulent about playing futures like a bat out of hell.

    To which anyone with half a brain and experience with the commodities market should know is pure and simple BS. Hello. They buy and sell futures. Futures. Not delivery. It’s just another huge casino. The players go where the action is. As in poker. Know when to hold ‘em and fold ‘em.

    Except when it comes to food and fuel. Then it should be considered immoral. Which it once was. It was also once considered illegal, until Clinton, Rubin, Grahm and friends fixed that little issue. How could legally raping the little guy be an issue?

    I wish I had bookmarked an article today by some tool with enough “credibility” to get coverage saying it wasn’t speculation pushing oil prices up because speculators have to take delivery on the oil they buy. ?????????

    I also wish I had bookmarked or saved the recent comment by an apparently very knowledgeable person that pointed out a barrel of oil trades 27 times before delivery.

    That should give you some sense of the pumping going on. And if you can’t figure that one out you are indeed either a sheeple or a tool or both.

    The BOTs are pumping us again. The big dogs are going to bank another trillion on this play. And it’s not over.

  18. wildebeest says:

    the shape since early 09 looks much like what we saw a few weeks ago in that chart that was circulating the blogosphere in which commodity prices where overlayed with Fed activities.

  19. KJ Foehr says:

    @ rip

    I wonder about the political implications of speculation too. Could one side influence an election by making the other side in power look bad simply by buying oil futures, rolling them over, and continuously adding to them over time to run up the price prior to an election? Sounds plausible unless the market is too big to be moved. But it seems to me even if the market was too big for any one group to manipulate, a concerted effort by several like-minded groups could do it if they wanted to.

    Position limits appear to be in order, but there are, no doubt, ways to spread the holdings around to circumvent that too.

  20. Cameron says:


    Your argument is that an Obama inauguration brings gas prices down? In that case, shall we have another? It’s getting awful expensive to fill my car :)

    Seriously though, to me, it’s that steep drop from 7/17/08 to 1/1/09 that interesting. It looks to be an interruption of the trend that started earlier and resumed after the lows of that steep, relatively short, drop.

  21. [...] For future reference, here’s a chart of gas prices since 2005, posted on The Big Picture: [...]

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