Wednesday, February 22, 2012

And now for a word on gasoline prices ...

This week the Dow Jones Industrial Average nosed above 13,000 for the first time since May 2008. Are happy days are here again?

You may recall where gasoline prices were in May 2008: They were approaching $4 a gallon, which is where they appear to be headed now. Yes, by the beginning of summer you may need a second mortgage to gas up the old SUV, pickup or minivan, not to mention your ATV, JetSki or lawnmower.

I don't think there's anything that gets Americans more riled up than high gasoline prices, and I'm speaking as someone who remembers when it cost less than $10 to put 20 gallons in a 1966 Chevrolet Impala SS. Supply and demand and speculator nervousness always get cited as the root causes of rising prices, and that may be true. But there's always a general suspicion among folks at the pump that somehow the fix is in. Of course if Iran's mullahs decide to sink a tanker in the middle of the Strait of Hormuz, all bets will be off.

For your convenience, I've added a gas price widget to the right side of the page so you can keep up. For the next week, e-mail me what you think the price of unleaded regular will be the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. The address is bizmojoidaho@gmail.com. Entries will be accepted through 5 p.m. Feb. 29. The winner will receive a $10 gift certificate to Carl's Jr.

By the way, I noticed that Stinker has begun selling gas with an octane rating of 85, when the lowest they used to sell was 87. All by itself, this is a sign of the world in decline.