Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Holidaze Week: It's A Gas Gas Gas!

Gas prices will probably be significantly cheaper overall next year. Yet the national average could still climb back above the $4-a-gallon threshold as soon as May, according to GasBuddy projections shared exclusively with CNN.

The good news is that GasBuddy, an app that tracks fuel prices, doesn’t expect a repeat of this year’s wild swings that at one point sent gas prices above $5 a gallon for the first time ever. That spike set off recession alarm bells, worsened inflation and crushed consumer confidence.

The national average for regular gas, a metric closely watched by Wall Street, Main Street and even the White House, is expected to drop to $3.49 a gallon in 2023, down roughly 50 cents from the average this year, according to GasBuddy.

That cooldown could prove significant, translating to families spending an average of $277 less on fuel for the year. If that holds true, total US gasoline spending would drop by about $55 billion, according to the forecast.

The bad news is GasBuddy expects the national average to climb from $3.10 a gallon today to a range of $3.52 to $4.05 in May as Americans hit the roads.

“2023 is not going to be a cakewalk for motorists. It could be expensive,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, told CNN. “The national average could breach $4 a gallon as early as May – and that’s something that could last through much of the summer driving season.”

Gas prices typically rise heading into the summer as Americans hit the road more during the warmer weather. In addition to the pick-up in demand, refiners switch over to summer-grade gasoline, which is designed to improve air quality and costs more to produce.

The GasBuddy forecast calls for the daily national average to top out at as high as $4.25 a gallon in August before dropping towards $3 a gallon by the end of the year.

The federal government has issued similar projections to GasBuddy’s.

Earlier this month, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said the national average is expected to average about $3.50 a gallon in 2023 as refineries continue to ramp up production of gasoline.
But even gas at $-$4.25 per gallon -- and diesel back above $5 most likely -- will continue to raise basic costs for Americans by a significant amount in 2023, and there's really no reason to believe gas will be below $3 nationally anytime soon.

Having said that, here in the NKY area, gas is $2.69 and falling, and should end up under $2.50 before too long.

But even here, diesel fuel is $3.99 a gallon, and that means shipping costs for food, clothing, electronics, everything physical delivered by truck, is going to remain expensive for the foreseeable future.

The cost of remaining a fossil fuel economy is only going to get more ruinous.

Holidaze Week: Lake Woe? Be Gone! Con't

We've now reached the "and find out" phase of Kari Lake's "election fraud" crash and burn nonsense, as confirmed Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs is seeking $500,000 in sanctions and other punishment for Lake's colossal time waste of a lawsuit.

Democratic Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs and Maricopa County filed for sanctions Monday against Republican Kari Lake, less than 48 hours after a judge ruled against Lake's efforts to have herself declared the winner of Arizona's governor race.

Hobbs and the county asked for sanctions against Lake and her legal team after an Arizona judge denied Lake's bid to reverse the results of the November election in a two-day trial. Lake, a prominent election denier and Trump ally, was allowed to go to trial last week with two of her 10 claims, which alleged misconduct with ballot printers and problems with ballot chain of custody.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson denied Lake’s challenge after the trial in a 10-page ruling Saturday. He said the court did not find clear and convincing evidence of misconduct that would have changed the election results. Thompson also noted that the defendants had stated their intention to seek sanctions against Lake and ordered them to file a motion for sanctions by Monday morning.

Attorneys for Hobbs, who has been Arizona's secretary of state for four years, joined the county in its filing Monday seeking $25,050 from Lake, which includes attorney fees for Hobbs and the state’s most populous county. The county took aim at Lake’s remarks before the election indicating she would not accept the results unless she won, as well as her “groundless” and “frivolous” lawsuit after the election was certified.

“Before a single vote was counted in the 2022 general election, Kari Lake publicly stated that she would accept the results of the gubernatorial election only if she were the winning candidate,” the county said in the filing.

“But she has not simply failed to publicly acknowledge the election results. Instead, she filed a groundless, seventy-page election contest lawsuit against the Governor-Elect, the Secretary of State, and Maricopa County and several of its elected officials and employees (but no other county or its employees), thereby dragging them and this Court into this frivolous pursuit.”

Lake plans to appeal but it's a moot point as the election was duly certified and Hobbs will be sworn in on Monday as Governor. There's nothing Lake can do to prevent it, and if Lake decides she's going to do something extremely stupid and/or extralegal, I hope Hobbs doesn't hesitate to press charges.

We'll see. This should be over, but it's not going to be anytime soon, I suspect.
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