In your opinion, to what extent are gas prices influenced by:
a) The costs of exploration, extraction, refining, transportation, and marketing–in other words, the costs that we “classically” think should drive the price of most goods?
b) Events and dynamics that are unique to the energy market, such as natural disasters, political unrest, the seasonal refinery changeovers, etc. ?
c) Direct and either covert or overt manipulation by petroleum product-producing companies, either with or without the assistance of world governments?
My analysis is that the market is too volatile for a), not volatile enough for b), and too volatile for c) to be primary forces, respectively. Therefore it must be a mixture of all three, as prices rise too swiftly and drop too slowly for a combination of a) and b), fluctuate too wildly for a combination of a) and c), and the fact that oil companies still massively invest in exploration suggests against a combination of b) and c). What do y’all think?