Just goes to show that there is absolutely no gas shortage that isn't created but for one reason and that's to drive the price up. There has never been a good reason for gas to be over $2 a gallon here in the US.
With 10* ethanol in the gas at a few stations that I use I still get 36-38 mpg., the same with gas with no ethanol, it does not effect the mpg in my car. Same with my truck, no difference in mgp use.
$1.49 in Cheyenne.
Suppliers have been mixing gasoline (90%) and alcohol (10%) for for a long time. Finding a 100% gas is a challenge in my part of the world.
As the price of a commodity changes, retail prices for products based on the commodity change as well. How fast retail responds is determined in large part by the length of the supply chain, The longer the pipeline, the long it takes before consumers see the impact.
Compared to the massive amount of motor fuels we use, there is relatively little storage capacity in the system. Elapsed time from when a barrel of crude comes out of the ground and when the refined products from that barrel are delivered to a retailer is short. That's why a disruption anywhere (hurricane, refinery explosion, etc.) results in an almost immediate price change.
By comparision, lead has a long shelf life and occupies very little storage space. The turnover rate between lead production and ultimate consumption of lead products is much slower. Nevertheless, in both cases, when the higher (or lower) priced stuff is gone, it is replaced by cheaper (or higher) priced stuff.
In the U.S. economy price is determined by supply, demand, and production costs. During the late 60's or early 70's the federal government - in its infinite wisdom - set price caps on gas. The caps were the government's response to inflation. Inflation was of course, also created by the fed's.
Truth is, price caps didn't mean poop until the cost of production started to approach the capped price. Production then slowly ground to a halt. If you're old enough, you may remember gas stations running out of gas and long lines of motorists at other stations waiting and hoping to get some before THAT station ran out.
I remember a tv interview of a Texan wildcatter. When asked about shortages of heating fuel stocks in the northeast states, his less than diplomatic response was, "Let them yankees freeze". It would have been more informative and certainly less inflamatory if he had responded, "I didn't create this shortage, the feds did. Why would you or the feds expect me to produce at a near zero rate of return?"
OPEC has manipulated crude production as long it has existed. Member countries keep whining about fifty-some dollar per barrel prices. They also keep crabbing that they are going to drop production by at least a million barrels a day to force prices back up.
The problem for cartels is that they are voluntary organizations. OPEC members each have a production quota which they agree not to exceed. They always cheat. The strategy is "let other members drop production to jack up prices and we'll sneak extra oil on the market when they do."
I filled up Sunday at $1.68. Price dropped a nickel on Monday.