This Memorial Day weekend many motorists may be wistfully remembering the days of $2 a gallon gasoline as prices at the pump may hit $4 average nationwide by the holiday.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts that nearly 32 million drivers will hit the road for the long holiday weekend. However, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) says there is some good news. Because ethanol is keeping gasoline prices about 15% lower than they otherwise might be, RFA says the gasoline price savings this weekend alone will amount to over $200 million – enough for 133 million cups of Starbucks coffee.
Meanwhile, as crude oil prices jumped over $4 Wednesday to settle at more than $133 a barrel, oil company executives faced tough questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee on why prices continue to climb.
The oil executives defended their profits and the price increases with statements such as, “The fundamental laws of supply and demand are at work,” made by John Hofmeister, chairman of Shell Oil.
They also brought up biofuels and restrictions on drilling for oil in the United States. Peter Robertson with Chevron Corporation said, “Congress has recently made some hard policy choices on renewables and energy efficiency. We hope you can also make the equally hard choices to open up more federal lands and allow us to responsibly produce more American oil and natural gas, which can supply us for decades to come.”