Summer drivers get no break on gas

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Apr 8, 2008


Renita Jablonski:The Energy Department releases its forecast on summer driving demand and gas prices today. Overall demand is expected to be lower this summer than last. But, gas prices are expected to average above three-sixty a gallon. Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer has more.

Nancy Marshall Genzer: If you want to know why gas prices soar every summer, just look in the mirror. Planning to drive to the beach this year?

Sound of traffic

While you’re idling in traffic, you’re increasing consumer demand. That could drive gas prices up to $4 a gallon this summer in much of the country. There’s another reason you’re paying more for gas — high oil prices. Blame traders for that. Energy trader and analyst Stephen Schork says everybody’s crowding into oil as the dollar falls.

Stephen Schork: Now we’re on this perverted hamster wheel right now, where people equate the weak dollar with higher oil prices.

Analyst Aaron Brady of Cambridge Energy Research Associates says OPEC can’t help, because only low-grade crude is available.

Aaron Brady: Not too many refineries in the world right now have the spare capacity to absorb that kind of lower-quality crude oil.

Some refineries have also cut back on gasoline production because of low profit margins.

In Washington, I’m Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

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