For the Byrds

Cycles are all around us.  Our solar system travels around our galaxy.  At the same time Earth circles the sun, and this cycle causes our seasons.  And the seasons can impact the business cycle.  While the calendar does not start or stop recessions, it does dictate, along with the EPA, the type of fuel we burn in our vehicles.  As you might have guessed, America is currently burning our summer blend.

The last couple of days have been very warm here in Southern California, triple digits in parts of this drought burden portion of the country, and these hot temperatures are keeping gas prices elevated here and around the country.  When the mercury rises, it becomes easier for gasoline to evaporate, so producers must create a more expensive summer blend less susceptible to vaporizing.  On the flipside, winter blends have a lower evaporation point, so engines in the cold parts of the country can function properly on a less costly mix.

America is about a month away from the next gasoline season.  This change could impact your wallet.  First, petrol purveyors cannot sell summer blend after September 15th, so they will need to make sure their inventory is depleted before that time.   If their stock of summer blend is too high, they may need to cut the price to get rid of it.  But even after that change has occurred, they will begin selling the winter blend which is less expensive to produce.  However, there is a caveat for those of us in California; one of our large refineries in the South Bay was destroyed in a fire earlier this year, so the impact may not be as great since our state received a supply shock when Torrance was rocked by the explosion.

Summerlike heat may last well beyond the autumnal equinox, but there is a mandated season for gasoline that is about to turn, turn, turn.  As we head into the long Labor Day weekend, we could be getting closer to a time you may embrace lower prices at the pump.              (by C. Cox)