All of us loved paying less than $2 a gallon at the pump. AAA reports: “Americans paid cheapest quarterly gas prices in 12 years” — which resulted in savings of nearly $10 billion compared to the same period last year. However, oil (and, therefore gasoline) has been creeping upward since the February low — topping $45 a barrel, a high for the year. And that could be a good thing.
While low prices at the pump have been a boon to consumers, the plunge in oil prices has been a bust for American producers.
Throughout the past 20 months, crude oil prices have dropped almost 80 percent, nearly 300,000 people are out of work, and corporate valuations for oil and gas companies have plummeted — even Exxon Mobil’s credit rating has been downgraded. In this environment, bankruptcies are frequent, and stock portfolios and retirement funds are feeling the pinch.