90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Who’s To Blame For High Gas Prices?

Ryan Riemath fills his tank at a Shell gas station Tuesday, April 26, 2011, in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, Wash. At $4.199 a gallon, the price is among the highest in the area. (AP)

Ryan Riemath fills his tank at a Shell gas station Tuesday, April 26, 2011, in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, Wash. At $4.199 a gallon, the price is among the highest in the area. (AP)

Today the national average for regular unleaded gas is $3.98 a gallon. Just last month the price was $3.62. And last year at this time, it was just $2.90. The price of oil is at the highest level since 2008. So what’s causing the spike?

As lawmakers return to Congress from a two-week break, Republicans plan to roll out a series of laws aimed at making it easier to drill for new sources of domestic oil offshore. Democrats say the oil companies are swimming in profits and want to repeal billions of dollars in tax subsidies.

But Ed Wallace of Bloomberg Businessweek writes that speculators, looking to make a buck on commodities, and the Federal Reserve are to blame. Wallace says that speculators, like banks and investment houses, dumped hundreds of billions of dollars into oil futures, artificially inflating the price. And he says they have all that extra cash, because the Fed is loaning out money at historically low prices, and the most profitable thing to do is to buy up commodities like oil, silver and gold.


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

November 26 2 Comments

UC President Janet Napolitano Says Tuition Must Rise

Napolitano defends the planned tuition increases, which some students and lawmakers say are too steep.

November 26 18 Comments

National Bar Association Critical Of Ferguson Grand Jury Process

St. Louis attorney Pamela Meanes, who is president of the association, explains her concerns with how the D.A. handled the process.

November 25 9 Comments

Lightening Up Traditional Thanksgiving Fare

Our resident chef Kathy Gunst has created lighter versions of listeners' favorites, from mashed potatoes to green bean casserole.

November 25 Comment

U.N. Envoy Calls For ‘Firing Freeze’ In Aleppo, Syria

Staffan de Mistura says limited and localized ceasefires in this historic city could serve as a model for the rest of the country.