Gas Prices Summer 2012

March 26, 2012 by staff 

Gas Prices Summer 2012, Myth [mith] = noun = “A traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation.” Well, you really don’t need a dictionary or thesaurus to know that they abound whenever the price of gasoline and diesel fuel spikes.

Myths, urban legends, old wives’ fables, and tall tales about the cost of gas are circulating with mad abandon. They range from the sublime to the ridiculous and from conspiracy theories to rumors of price gouging. They fly around in the ether and they run amok on the Internet and at the water cooler. “If there’s somethin’ strange, in your neighborhood…Who ya gonna call?” Gas Mythbusters, that’s who. All the histrionics, hysterics, hot air, hype, and all things hyperbolic can be downright confounding and confusing, cautions AAA Mid-Atlantic.

“The run-up in gas prices in 2012 is no exception, and consumers are desperate, they will try anything and do anything to try to save money, including falling for the latest rumors and myths,” said Jenny M. Robinson, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “They range from ‘it is more fuel-efficient to turn off the car’s air conditioner (false),’ to ‘ buying gasoline in the morning, when the air is cool, rather than in the heat of the day’ will save you more (false), to keeping your tires properly inflated will enhance your fuel economy (true, by up to 3.3 percent ).”

Whether you believe “drilling more domestically is the fastest way to lower prices at the pump,” or “tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is the best means of reducing gas prices,” or changing the occupant of the Oval Office will cause gas prices to fall to $2.50 a gallon, always weigh the claim with a skeptic’s critical eye. If you hear anyone saying the latter, just whip out your myth-buster’s “dematerializer” myth-popper gun with its built-in “b.s. (ahem, hogwash and hokum) meter” and shout: “Oh yeah, if you can do it then, why you can’t do it now?”

As always, motorists should strive to separate fact from fiction, and the wheat from the chaff. For the benefit of motorists, AAA Mid-Atlantic is rounding up the usual suspects and debunking them.

Gas prices will hit $5 a gallon this summer. False. No way. No how. Unless Israel and the United States strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, and then that’s the doomsday scenario. The saber-rattling aside, this is the proverbial Chicken Little “the-sky-is- falling,” psychological effect. Catch that acorn if it falls on your head at the gas kiosk and put your emotions and spending in check. Although pump prices have already spiked above four dollars in some retail markets in California, along the west coast and the east coast, and in Washington, D.C., most American consumers won’t pay nearly that much for gas this spring and summer. AAA and OPIS gas guru, Tom Kloza, continue to believe U.S. gasoline gas prices will average $3.75-$4.25 per gallon this spring. On the other hand, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) now expects the “monthly average regular-grade gasoline retail price to peak in May at $3.96 per gallon, 32 cents per gallon higher than forecast in last month’s STEO and 6 cents per gallon higher than May 2011.” If this holds true, prices will fall like the leaves of autumn – between 75 cents and a dollar per gallon – between the Fourth of July and Labor Day.

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