On Sunday, a local gas station was charging $2.689 per gallon for regular unleaded. Today it’s $2.899. Another station nearby was also at $2.899. Around the corner and down the street a station had regular unleaded at $3.299. Down the street from there (at a place that is usually higher than the rest) regular unleaded was being sold for $2.799.
There was actually someone pumping gas at the $3.299 place!
Today, Chuck Schumer once again called for draining the Strategic Oil Reserves.
“If there was ever a time for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to be tapped, it would be now,” he said.
As if this will do anything at all. There isn’t a problem with the supply of crude (which, of course, the Strategic Oil Reserve contains). The problem is with refining the oil we do have. 8-10% of America’s refining capacity is temporarily unavailable.
It doesn’t matter how much crude you have if you don’t have the capacity to refine it. More oil isn’t the problem. Turning it into gas (with all those “boutique” mixtures), diesel and heating oil is the problem and has been for quite some time.
After Hurricane Ivan, pipelines and platforms which produce and deliver crude were most affected. Now it’s the refineries. Refineries are currently running at near 100% capacity, more oil isn’t the answer, more refineries are.
More on this topic at Blogs for Bush.