Populate your government with former oil industry executives and what do you get? High energy prices that cripple our economy.
Consumer prices shot up in July, reflecting higher prices for gasoline and other energy products while output at the nations’ factories, mines and utilities slowed sharply.
The Federal Reserve reported that industrial production rose just 0.1 percent last, the weakest showing in three months.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department reported that its closely watched Consumer Price Index rose 0.5 percent in July, the biggest increase in three months. In July, overall inflation was driven higher by a big 3.8 percent jump in energy costs.
Joe SUV-Driver is starting to squeal.
Motorists pulling up to the pump at the Cardinal Plaza Shell station in Springfield got a price shock several times last week. On Tuesday, the station owner bumped the price of a gallon of regular up 3 cents; on Wednesday, he nudged it 4 more cents. On Friday, he got bolder: His price jumped 23 cents.
The steady increases in Springfield — and across the nation — pushed up the average price of a gallon of gas by 18 cents in the past week, the biggest one-week jump since the Energy Department began compiling the data 15 years ago. The average national price of a gallon of regular was $2.55 yesterday, up 36 percent over a year ago.
“I’m just sick of it,” said Stuart Kass of Bethesda after he passed an Exxon station yesterday on Old Georgetown Road and Democracy Boulevard selling premium for $3.11. “I’m running out of money and I need to pay the bills.”
Aaron Rehman of Springfield said it is time to sell his 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe; he said it costs $75 to fill the tank. “That’s taking away from other stuff I need,” said Rehman, a 22-year-old shipping and receiving specialist.
Truck drivers such as Terry Benavidez also are feeling the pinch. She gets only about eight miles a gallon on her 18-wheeler Volvo truck.
Watching gas prices rise, Benavidez, 44, said, “I’m just scared. I’m nervous about how much it’s going to take to fill up my tank.”