The Chemistry Behind Summer Gas Price Hikes

Gas prices are up again. What’s going on? Who’s to blame?

Of course big long term driver is China. China needs more gas, and its exploding demand has put pressure on the market. But what about the recent spike?

Apparently the big villian is… Chemistry:

Gas prices fluctuate seasonally — up in spring, down in fall — for a very specific reason: Butane. As Rapier wrote last year “Butane is a cheap ingredient in gasoline that boils at low temperatures. In winter, this isn’t a problem. But in summer, butane evaporates from gas, polluting the air while leaving us with less fuel in the tank than we paid for. As temperatures rise, refineries replace butane with more costly ingredients and draw down winter inventories just as beach season begins. Chemistry, not corporate conspiracy, limits supply.”

This happens every single year. You’d think people would have caught on by now. But sadly, no.

Prepare yourself for the shock when prices go down right before the elections. It’s a conspiracy!


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