High gas prices aren’t just a figment of the imagination

February 24, 2012

Joe Weisenthal writes that, despite all the headlines about high gasoline prices, there doesn’t seem to be an upswell in people furiously Googling the topic. Fair enough. But he goes too far when he calls the recent gas price surge “mostly media manufactured hype.” As the chart below from CFR’s Blake Clayton shows, pump prices really are much higher this spring than the previous six-year median:


You’re not just imagining things: Gas is expensive!

Now, Clayton notes, there’s no guarantee gas prices will skyrocket to $5 or $6 per gallon per gallon by summer, as many pundits are predicting. (Normally, gas prices do tick up about 50 cents per gallon in the summer, as refiners stop blending gasoline with cheap butane and swap in more expensive ingredients that don’t evaporate as quickly in the heat.) But $6/gallon gas, Clayton notes, “would take a pretty serious disruption to the global oil market.”

Even so, the recent uptick isn’t just media hype.

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