Perplexing economics

03/26/2012
Rising US gasoline prices once again are the topic of many current headlines. Gasoline pump prices already are 26¢/gal higher than a year ago and the peak summer driving season—which typically begins around Memorial Day—hasn't even started. Tensions in the Middle East, supply issues, and a rise in global oil demand all contribute their part to the current rise in oil prices, which accounts for nearly 75% of the price paid at the pump. Taxes account for about 12%, while refining, at 6%, and distribution and marketing, also 6%, round out the total price. At this writing, prices for West Texas Intermediate crude was hovering at $106-107/bbl, which is an increase of 10% from a year ago. Brent...
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