After several months of overall fuel prices dropping in our area (we got down to $1.76 for gasoline at the closest stations), they are now rising again.  Almost 30 cents in two weeks at the local station which yesterday was at $2.08).  No, it’s not my imagination, here is a link to KIRO TV’s article about the phenomenon.  What I don’t understand is why the prices rose so quickly, so dramatically, in the absence of any obvious trigger.  Yes, it’s winter — but usually gasoline prices fall in the winter.  Yes, we had a massive snowstorm followed by major flooding that cut off our section of the country for a few days.  But gasoline (and natural gas) here is delivered primarily by tanker ships and pipelines — our fuel supply was not limited.  And prices rose before new deliveries were made…

Washington state does not have a law against price fixing or profit-taking on necessities.  Perhaps it needs one. Meantime, we will cut back even more on our driving, as much as possible, given that the reduced gasoline prices were almost offsetting the increased cost of food. I really don’t know how people who are close to the edge financially are coping.

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