Price of gas at all-time Mass. high : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Price of gas at all-time Mass. high

Price of gas at all-time Mass. high by Robin Washington Wednesday, June 7, 2000

Bay State drivers have seen a new record at the pump - and not one that has motorists celebrating.

After rising an average of four cents per gallon last week, gas prices reached their highest point ever recorded in Massachusetts, according to American Automobile Association of Southern New England.

``It's the highest that we've ever seen in the 20-odd years that we've been recording them,'' said AAA spokesman John Paul.

The average for self-serve regular unleaded was $1.59, with individual stations pricing it from $1.49 to $1.69, the AAA said. Midgrade unleaded averaged at $1.68 and premium full-serve came in at $1.82, with some stations breaking the $2-per-gallon mark at $2.01.

``It's crazy. I paid $1.90 this morning. People like me cannot afford to pay prices like these,'' said William Medina of Lawrence, who said he shells out almost $20 every two days for gas.

Medina said he has considered taking public transportation to his job in Somerville, but finds it impractical.

``The T is cheaper, but I have to wake up at 6 in the morning to take it,'' he said.

Area discount gas leader Stan Hatoff of Hatoff's in Jamaica Plain, who was selling regular for $1.53-9/10 yesterday, said prices have fallen a bit since the survey.

``The last two days it's been going down, but you're not going to see it at the pumps because dealers are working on such a small margin,'' he said.

Bob Boudreau of Somerville's Hillside Service concurred.

``The (oil) companies are sticking it to us. We buy engine oil all the time and it's been holding the same. But gas is unbelievable,'' he said.

The AAA's Paul attributed the increase to summer's high demand following an earlier spike in March.

``The (demand) started to climb just as OPEC prices started to fall. If history means anything they'll continue to go up a little bit in the summer,'' he said.

-- Martin Thompson (, June 07, 2000

-- Gas Passer (-@whazzup.con), June 08, 2000


Hey, I thought prices were supposed to be going DOWN? Is this the Twilight Zone?

-- Highway Man (Its@highway.robbery), June 08, 2000.

Medina said he has considered taking public transportation to his job in Somerville, but finds it impractical.

``The T is cheaper, but I have to wake up at 6 in the morning to take it,'' he said.

I have a hard time feeling sorry for this guy. IMO, paying $20.00 for gas every other day is impractical.

-- Anita (, June 08, 2000.

The comming summer gasoline shortage was predicted FAR in advance. The March 1st, 2000 OPIS Alert below is quite revealing.

2000-03-01 11:01:07 EST ***NEW RFG SPECS COULD TIGHTEN SUPPLY When regulators decided years ago to roll out Phase II RFG gasoline in 2000, they had no idea that it would be against the backdrop of some of the tightest gasoline supplies in recent memory. Now there is widespread concern that some refiners and blenders will have difficulty meeting summer Phase II RFG specifications, increasing the likelihood that traders, distributors, marketers and motorists could face more price shocks this Spring. Refiners have met the new winter RFG specifications -- entailing lower toxic and nitric oxide emissions -- with little problem. The unique challenge of the summer Phase II gasoline is reducing the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This can be accomplished through a reduction in aromatics, but refiners already have dropped nearly all the aromatics they can without further sacrificing octane. Practically the only alternative to meet tough VOC standards is to reduce Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) levels. The Energy Information Administration estimates that refiners and blenders will have to drop RVP to 6.7psi -- down from 8.0psi in northern states and 7.1psi in southern states last summer. This is of particular concern to northeast gasoline blenders, who worry that imported blendstocks will not contain the components necessary to make a low RVP gasoline with sufficient octane. The "Everest" in this case would be the "D" grade gasoline -- the reformulated fuel with 93 octane -- which could possibly trade at unprecedented premiums to NYMEX gasoline futures. "It's going to be totally dependent on the type of product that's coming from Europe and South America," one east coast blender said. On a positive note, the blender expects that Venezuelan imports will lend themselves to blending the summer spec. Other overseas suppliers could come through as well. "Refiners have always surprised us with what they have been able to do," the blender said. But time is of the essence. The summer Phase II RFG gasoline must be in place at the terminal level by May 1 and at retail outlets by June 1. That makes April the delivery month for the fuel, and that's when high octane RFG volumes could be squeezed. The new specs could affect the availability of other RFG grades as well. Valero chairman and chief executive officer Bill Greehey predicted in January a 50,000 to 100,000 b/d drop in U.S. gasoline output this summer as small refiners realize they cannot reduce NOx and vapor emissions sufficiently to meet the new gasoline requirements. And those refiners that are capable are expected to pass along some of the costs of making the new gasoline. EIA estimates that during the summer months, Phase II RFG gasoline will fetch a premium to conventional of 4cts gal, compared to an average premium of 2.5cts gal that Phase I RFG has seen over the last several years. One Washington, D.C., trader notes that similar predictions that accompanied the roll out of Phase I gasoline turned out to be slightly inflated. Then again, the gasoline supply picture was not as bleak at that time. "We have failed to build inventories at a time that we normally do, and there's not enough crude oil for refiners to run with to address that situation in the near term," said Tim Evans, senior energy analyst with Pegasus Econometric Group. "It just looks in general that we're going to be living hand-to-mouth the whole summer."

-- Wisconsin Gasoline Prices (Are, June 08, 2000.

Phoenix....regular unleaded....from $1.29 to $1.49.

The closest, cheapest in my part of town is $1.31.

-- fauna (, June 08, 2000.

Well in Ohio here today, I passed a gas station in Lakewood (Ox?) and gas was 1.66. Got close to home and it is 1.99.

I had asked earlier before if any had felt the pinch yet? I realize most SUV owners have, but I have began to 'feel' it already. But I really can not/will not / hope hand to mouth this summer.

Cuz sumer loves to eat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anita, I agree, have a REAL hard time w/20 every other day...What the heck is he/she driving a friggin uhaul?

-- consumer (, June 08, 2000.

im jealous of you all!! Chicago, IL $2.19 (reg), $2.29 (mid), $2.39 (high). it cost over $30.00 to fill my tank. last year it took $20.00. start to feel the bite.

-- boo (, June 08, 2000.

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