Remember $4 gasoline? Oil speculators are back
By Kevin G. Hall
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
WASHINGTON — Despite weak demand in the U.S. and Europe, oil prices climbed this week to near $90 a barrel and gasoline prices have passed $3 a gallon on the West Coast and parts of the Northeast.
Why? If demand is down and supplies are plentiful — and they are — why would prices be going up?
Because Wall Street speculators are driving up oil and gasoline prices again — just in time to dampen holiday cheer.
“It’s all about investor optimism, and that’s been the story about 2010 … that’s the primary reason why we’re seeing oil prices at $90 (a barrel) and gasoline making an uncharacteristic climb in December towards $3 a gallon,” said Troy Green, a national spokesman for the AAA Motor Club, which monitors gasoline prices.