“Though politicians often condition us to think that all price increases are the products of corporate conspiracy, there’s no evidence of corporate price-fixing or collusion over the past 40 years. When pump prices go up, people adjust by spending less on other aspects of driving, like new car purchases, automotive maintenance, new paint jobs and stereos. Over time, they’ll buy more fuel-efficient cars to reduce the amount of gasoline they need to buy. In short, consumers—not oil companies—exercise control over how much they spend to get from here to there.”It has long been my opinion that today's popular vehicle choices -- such as SUV's & pick-ups, 6-cylinders at a minimum, Hemi's, and ever increasing horsepower -- come with a price. All of these vehicles increase the demand for gasoline, which raises the price at the pump.
I have made the choice to include only one six-cylinder vehicle in my fleet in order to reduce the fuel that I consume (it is still possible to buy a 4-cylinder car if you try). Others have made a different choice in vehicles. I drive more miles than the average American, which is my contribution to higher gas prices. No matter anyone's individual driving choices, we all are paying that higher price for fuel at the pump.
Following Katrina, I had my first domestic experience with gasoline at over $3 a gallon. I eagerly filled up and paid that price. I was 300 miles from home and the ready availability of $3+ gasoline was certainly a better option than state-controlled $1.50 gasoline that would be unobtainable.
Markets work, if you let them.