Even though it appears that, adjusted for inflation, our gas price has hovered around $2/gallon for a long time, the current speculation-related gouging is throwing that metric out the window. Double-dipping between the war in Iraq and Hurricane Katrina’s wrath, the gasoline companies have succeeded in getting the market over the psychological price point of $3/gallon. Note how the uncertainty of Desert Storm era (ca. 1989-1991) drove the price over the $1/gallon price point (in the dollars of the day) for good, and the Iraq war did the same for $2. Let’s hope the $1/gallon premium we’re now paying for gas compared to just a year ago will truly be used in a way that repairs (and hopefully augments) U.S.-based refining capacity, as opposed to being profits raked in by convenience store owners (where gas used to be a loss leader, right?) and big oil. Then perhaps the U.S. petroleum products market will stabilize. Will gas go back down to $2? If the collusion that defines the market continues, probably not.