Things that are headed up these days: unemployment, foreclosures, adorable Pixar characters whose houses are attached to helium ballons, Daisuke Matsuzaka’s ERA and, argh, gas prices. A Russian energy group is predicting oil, which is currently just over $70 a barrel, will eventually pierce the stratosphere at $250, meaning it’ll pretty much be Mad Max time for everyone.
Why Does Diesel Cost So Much? In part two of a two-part series on diesel fuel, Consumer Reports finds that there are three main reasons diesel fuel costs so much, according to the petroleum experts they interviewed. The most obvious reason? Higher taxes. [CR]
Spring is coming! Consumer Reports tests scooters and motorcycles for the first time since 1981. [Consumer Reports]
Exxon has set another record for profitability, with $45.2 billion in 2008, up from $40.6 billion in 2007. As prices fell in the fourth quarter, however, Exxon’s income fell 33 percent. [NYT]
President Obama has ordered the EPA to allow states set their own fuel-efficiency standards (fourteen states had begun the process when President Bush put a stop to it a couple of years ago.) He’s also asked the DOT to “develop higher fuel-efficiency standards automakers would have to follow.” [USA Today]
Justin Wolfers, from the Freakonomics blog, has noticed something troubling on US Airways. The clothes hangers are gone from First Class.
Even though real incomes are dropping and people are worrying about their jobs — a drop in gas prices has lead to a push in retail spending, says the New York Times.
Oil prices have fallen below $40 a barrel, a 4 year low, despite OPEC announcing that it would cut production by 2.2 million barrels a day.
Oil is now nearing a 4-year low as the world’s economic crisis keeps on truckin’, says the Wall Street Journal. Light, sweet crude (don’t you just love that term?) is now trading at 44.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. “The price was the lowest since January 2005 and more than $100 below oil’s record close July 3,” says the WSJ. So, what does that mean for travelers?
The crappy economy is taking its toll on airfares. Demand is sinking taking airfares with it, says USAToday.
And let’s not forget the exorbitant booking fee for using miles for one of our tickets. The actual FLIGHT was only $280 round trip per ticket, but with the booking fee TO USE THE MILES TO PURCHASE A TICKET, we wound up paying over $500.
AAA says that gas prices have fallen for 51 straight days — and that the current average price is $2.31 per gallon. The current price is the lowest the nation has seen since February of 2007, and is 43.8% lower than the record high of $4.11 set during July of this year.