Monday, January 26, 2009

Gas Price Survey

OPEC finally managed to get their supplies under control, which has stopped the slide in oil prices. Coincidentally, gas prices have gone back up to a nation-wide average of $1.86.

I should be so lucky. It’s $1.99 at the Shell on the corner of SW 168th Street and Old Cutler Road in suburban Miami this morning, which is three cents more than the Marathon across the street, and four cents more than the Chevron and Mobil on Bird Road and US 1. Still, it’s $2.16 cheaper than the most I paid last July, and the Pontiac is getting 21.5 mpg even off the highway. Oddly, the prices for gas in the Keys is anywhere from five to ten cents cheaper down there than it is on the mainland, even in resort places like Islamorada. You would think that with the remote location and captive clientele, the prices would be higher; I remember paying anywhere from ten to fifteen cents more a gallon in resort communities like Petoskey or Santa Fe when I lived there just because they could get away with it.

What’s interesting is that purely on an anecdotal basis, people I talk to are still gun-shy about buying gas; they’ve cut back on travel and are still looking at ways of using less fuel. Or so they say; if the traffic to and from the Keys is any guide, vacationers are not cutting back on travel or boating. But then, those are the people who are still employed or didn’t invest with Bernie Madoff.