Humbugs Along the Potomac

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Petroleum and Natural Gas Watch
by Michael Vickerman, RENEW Wisconsin
April 17, 2007, Vol. 6, Number 6

“Oh, no, my dear … I am a very good man. I’m just a very bad wizard.”
--The Wizard of Oz

In its latest staged display of bureaucratic omniscience, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said last week that retail gasoline prices across the nation, which have jumped 25% since January, will peak at $2.87 a gallon next month and then recede before the vacation driving season begins in June. The average price motorists will see this summer will be $2.81, a bit less than what they paid in the previous two summers. EIA’s current forecast comes one month after its previous prediction that gasoline prices would level off this spring at $2.67 a gallon. (Gasoline prices at $2.83 a gallon are Sky High Again in La Crosse.)

The agency’s sunny blandishments may cause a few eyebrows to be raised among the millions of West Coast motorists already paying more than $3.00 a gallon at the pump. Then again, maybe not. With a track record for erroneous forecasting that verges on the spectacular, why should anyone bother to listen to EIA when more reliable predictions can be found on the daily astrology page?

Continue reading here.


Ed Blume said...

Michael Vickerman's assessment of the supply and economics of gasoline prices stacks up as better than a so-called expert's predictions. From the Wisconsin State Journal:

When oil and gasoline price national expert Ben Brockwell visited Madison earlier this month, he predicted that pump prices would soon peak and start to fall.

"So far I've been dead wrong," he said Thursday, as average national gas prices were climbing toward $3 a gallon.

Wisconsin's average price was $2.86 for regular unleaded, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. In Madison, many stations boosted prices by a dime or more to $2.89 in the past few days with the highest price Thursday afternoon at $2.91, according to, a Web site that tracks pump prices.

Read the full story.