The Wider World

Why are gasoline prices spiking?

GASOLINE PRICES at the pump are up since last month. There may be multiple causes (Pexels/Gustavo Fring).

You’re paying more for gasoline at the pump these days, but the reasons for the rise in fuel prices can be complicated.

According to the Associated Press, gasoline prices rose by 14 percent in the last month, and are almost 30 percent higher per gallon than a year ago, reports the American Automobile Association. Gasoline use dropped dramatically during the worst of the coronavirus pandemic as more people worked from home and many businesses closed or reduced operations.

The recent rise in price is partially attributed to the storms in Texas, which temporarily shut down several oil refineries. Another influence has been a rise in crude oil prices because of anticipated improvements in the economy as the vaccine and other measures helped reduce the virus.

However, the International Energy Agency is predicting that oil demand will never again reach its peak as more and more people continue to work from home, and as governments push for or require low-carbon automobiles such as electric or hydrogen vehicles.

However, the oil industry will likely never be just a small, archaic enterprise. Petroleum is used not only in fuels and lubricants but also in the making of plastics and some fertilizers, commodities likely to persist well into the foreseeable future.

News: Were spa shootings hate crimes?

GOLD SPA in Atlanta, scene of shootings (Yelp).

Robert Aaron Long, 21, was charged Wednesday with eight counts of murder and one of aggravated assault in connection with the fatal shootings of eight persons – six of them women of Asian descent – at three massage spas in the Atlanta area.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said, “Whatever the motivation for this guy, we know that the majority of the victims were Asian. We also know that this is an issue that is happening across the country, it is hateful and it has to stop.”

According to The New York Times, the suspect told police that he had a “sexual addiction” to Asian women and performed the shootings in an attempt to eliminate his “temptation.”

Business: You’re one in 90 million

STIMULUS money is flowing out this week (Pexels photo).

The Internal Revenue Service reported Tuesday that it had sent the $1400 stimulus checks from the $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” approved by Congress to 90 million Americans.

Most were done by direct deposit, and most will hit the accounts today (Wednesday), according to USA Today.  The news organization is also stating that is research is showing the at least half of young people between 25 and 34 are planning on using much of their relief payments to purchase stocks.

Perhaps because of that, Wall Street had a very good day on Wednesday with new records set and three major stock indexes showing green.

The Dow was up 189.42 points to 33,015.37. The S&P 500 rose by 11.41 points to 3,874.12. The Nasdaq closed at 13,525.20, up 53.64.

Sports: SI’s experts pick Bulldogs

Sports Illustrated has asked seven experts to handicap the upcoming NCAA college men’s basketball tournament, and five of them are predicting that top-ranked Gonzaga will emerge as the champion. One expert picked Illinois and another tapped Baylor.

The “March Madness” starts on Thursday, with UCLA taking on Michigan State in a game televised on TBS.

Tuesday’s results:

Lakers 137, Minnesota 121: With a big lift from the bench, LAL posted its third victory since the All-Star break. Montrezl Harrell was the star for the reserves, scoring 25 points. Also standing out were supersubs Kyle Kuzma and Talen Horton-Tucker, each with 16 points.  LeBron James had 25 points, along with 12 assists and 12 rebounds. The Lakers are now 27-13, a few percentage points out of first place in the NBA Pacific Division behind the Phoenix Suns (26-12). On Thursday, the Lakers will host the Charlotte Hornets (20-18).

Colorado 8, Ducks 4: A 4-2 first period led by the Ducks didn’t hold up Tuesday. The Avalanche rallied for six unanswered goals and posted the win. It was Anaheim’s fourth straight loss, keeping the team (8-16-6, 16 points) in last place in the NHL West Division.

Weather: Be patient; sunny days on the way

The skies have been sort of cloudy all day for the West Orange County area, but that won’t last. The forecast for Thursday is partly cloudy (high of 68, low of 50), followed by mostly sunny weather on Friday (70/54). Partly cloudy on Saturday (65/47), but after that, a week of sunshine with temperatures warming to the mid-70s. In the coastal areas of Huntington Beach, daytime highs will be a couple of degrees cooler.


Leave a Reply