I'm getting a bit annoyed by the breathless coverage:
…and there's just some plain, factual statement of the matter:
The average retail price of a gallon of regular gas stood at $3.54 on Feb. 4, its highest level since October. Thus far in 2013, gasoline prices have jumped 7%, hitting the pocketbooks of Americans already grappling with higher payroll taxes. Prices at the pump remain slightly below the average last year of $3.62 a gallon.
Hmm. Look at that pattern. Do you think there might be something seasonal going on? We see only one full year in that graph, so let me give you a longer time period to look at. First, a governmental source of data, the Energy Information Administration. I can get the info for average prices for unleaded gas going back to the 70s, but there's a lot of inflation effect, yadda yadda, so I'm going to show the graph going back to 2001:
Oh look at that. Some very interesting movements over 2008, I see. I wonder what happened then.
If you don't trust government data, I've been keeping my own data since April 2011. I commute a lot, and have to fill up my tank 3 times a week. I tend to go to one specific gas station, so vagaries of localprice differences generally don't hit, except for the one or two times a year I go on a car trip.
So let's take a look at the average gas prices I saw:
So: prices fluctuate. Ta da. I saw the exact same rise in prices one year ago. I am not seeing what the big deal over seasonal fluctuations is.