Just in time for the Memorial Day weekend travel and the unofficial start to summer, U.S. gasoline prices have fallen below a national average price of $3.85 a gallon.
Recent mandates by government officials had warned oil producers that collusion and price gouging would not be tolerated, suggesting that legal action would be taken if producers and retailers didn't stop the pattern. Chevco Petroleum Vice President, Alan Greasepan says, "We never gouge, period. Prices at the pump reflect speculation in the oil commodity market, adjustments in the cost of shipping and refining, and bonus payouts to our executives. If the price per barrel goes up, our pump prices reflect that increase".
"Well, that Greasepan fella might swing both ways, the pump prices don't", says oil industry critic, Candice B. Hapning. "When barrel prices were at $120, he's got an argument. When they dropped below $90 a barrel and retail process held at the same level, no wonder those boys reported record profits last quarter. Where was my 25% price drop?"
Greasepan responded, "There's more to it than that. It's a very complicated process based largely on supply and demand, sort of." He went on to explain that retail prices will rise, like in advance of this weekend's Memorial Day holiday, because historically, the demand for gasoline will rise.
"So you raise prices, by guessing that demand will be higher, and hold prices up even when your costs go down? It's like selling crack, legally, with a huge taxpayer subsidy to boot. I wish they would have greased me up before bending me over", says a flustered Hapning.
"That reminds me", commented Greasepan. "Somebody issue that memo to jack those prices by Friday. I've got a small government to crush, an island I want to buy, and for my wife, a cute little Chiuaua and Coach bag to carry it. Shopping begins Monday!"