In the last week we have seen gas prices rise and fall quite dramatically. As a result, the events surrounding Hurricane Ike have generated a lot of discussion on this blog and in many other arenas. Much of the discussion revolves around the impact of the markets on the price at the pump. Like in anything, not everyone agrees.
A few years ago, Hurricane's Katrina and Rita unleashed a path of devastation and human tragedy that is still hard to fully comprehend to this day. As we all learned through that event, the US Gulf Coast is home to a large portion of the American refining sector along with many oil platforms. In the days that followed, gas prices rose and many accusations were leveled against the industry. This site didn't exist then, but I did many media interviews to try and explain what was going on and respond to the accusations of unseemly behaviour. As we all know, pump prices came back down and most people moved on.
In the days that followed, two reports were issued on the subject with little fanfare. One from the Competition Bureau of Canada and another from the Federal Trade Commission in the US that are worth looking at, especially in light of the events of the past week. Please read on.