Gas Prices up Again; Speculation, Refineries, and Value of Dollar to Blame

 The price of gas in Indiana is once again on the rise, leaving many consumers asking, “Why?” Gregg Laskoski of told WKVI that the increase in price is due to three major factors: oil speculation, refinery issues, and the value of the American dollar.

Laskoski said that three refineries in the Great Lakes region have been suffering from problems, and on top of that, double-digit wholesale price increases that occurred as recently as late last week are being reflected in the retail price at the pump, driving Indiana’s average price up 14 cents per gallon in the past week. With an average state price of $3.84 against the national average of $3.69, Laskoski said the declining value of the dollar certainly isn’t helping.

“But what’s even more problematic, I think, is the value of the dollar in all this, because when the dollar is weak, that tends to push commodities and certainly crude oil up higher than ordinarily. And the other thing that’s hurting consumers is that when you have a weak dollar – our government is actually supporting a weak dollar because there’s some logic to this – they believe that a weak dollar helps to reduce the relative value of the $16,000 of debt that we carry right now,” Laskoski explained.

Laskoski said consumers are getting clobbered by the devaluation of the dollar, forcing prices up for groceries and all kinds of items throughout the country. He said a dollar is buying less than it did a year ago, causing financial pain to Hoosiers and others throughout the country.

“Our dollar is buying less of anything we choose to buy right now, and Reuters reported that the Euro is now enjoying a 14-month peak against the dollar, and that’s coming at our expense,” said Laskoski.

While he does expect prices to come down eventually, the volatility of gas prices in the Great Lakes region is hard to predict. Laskoski said he expects prices to continue to climb somewhat, but the rate of increase should be much slower in the weeks ahead.

He explained the national average may peak at a range between $3.80 and $3.95 per gallon, which could drive the cost of gasoline in Indianapolis between $4 and $4.35 per gallon.