By Reg Chapman

By Reg Chapman, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A gallon of gas in the Twin Cities is running $3.49 a gallon.

Many stations hiked prices by 20 to 30 cents in just a couple of days.

Experts said you don’t have to look far to find the reason behind the surge. The turmoil rolling across the Middle East is playing a big part.

However, the price at the pump has many people wondering why gas isn’t the only thing going up.

Food prices are on the rise. Airlines have increased fares from $5 to $20 per roundtrip ticket in an effort to offset the cost of higher fuel.

Economist David Vang said there are two reasons why Americans are paying more at the pump, to fly and to eat.

He said the government’s policy for the past couple of years to get us out of recession has been to drastically increase the money supply.

“The United States has increased the printing of dollars and a lot of these major commodities like oil are priced in dollars on the world market, so if the dollar falls because we print it a lot, the price of those commodities go up,” Vang said.

Vang said that the rapid growth of China and India’s economies also plays a part in how much we pay for things.

“China’s economy is still growing and so is India, and so they are buying up lots and lots of commodities for their own construction needs and population needs and so forth, so that further the prices of food items fuel and travel of course requires a lot of fuel,” Vang said.

Comments (74)
  1. scott says:

    This just in……..exxon mobile just posted record earnings for 2010. 59328285 triillion in december alone. Hmmmm. That is the real reason!

    1. Kim says:

      EXACTLY!! How can people be so blind to the reality of this situaion?! or not get mad enough to stand up and do something……

    2. Greg says:

      It’s like either party really cares about people.

      1. Gas SHOULD BE MORE says:

        I love when gas prices spike! I am a terrible converstionalist, and it provides me with something of an ice breaker, to help initiate meaningless smalltalk. I sincerely hope that gas rises to 8$/gallon, I am a millionaire so it doesn’t matter to me one way or another. It sure is fun though to watch all the little people scrambling and crying when gas spikes, it puts the FUN in FUNANCIAL STRAIN!!

  2. ride a bike says:

    59328285 triillion is 59.328285 quintillion. Is there even that much money in the entire world???

  3. Kim says:

    But we can spill billions and billions of gallons of oil in the ocean and our prices don’t go up one cent………hmmmmm…sounds a little fishy to me.

  4. Victim Du Jour says:

    What’s wrong with making a profit? No one is forcing you to use oil and gas.

    1. Mike says:

      Nothing is wrong with profit, until it stops commerce, the prerequisite to captalism!
      Are you really that dim?

    2. JoeSnow says:

      It`s ignorant simpletons like you that are the problem. Every dog has it`s day & I`m hearing howling.

    3. daniel1956 says:

      Actually, yes, you are forced to use fuel to survive in MN. Even our clothing takes fuel to make. Not heating your home? The county will take your kids away. Can’t use wood; that’s strickly regulated now. Can’t walk to anyplace you need to get to. Anywhere you need to get to requires a vehicle to get to, due to sprawl. The list in endless, to those that pay attention.

    4. Irv says:

      The more I pay for gas the more goes to Exxon and the less I can spend locally on groceries, products and services that run our state. $4 per gallon gas was part of the reason for the market collapse in 08. Didn’t notice Exxon laying off during the recession. Saw everyone elso go under though. So whats wrong? Its the taking from the little guy to make Koch one more billion, casue the first 10 weren’t enough. Thats whats wrong.

    5. Wesly says:

      Nothing is wrong with making a profit in a competitive market. Fuel does not fall into that category. While the price per barrel used to reflect demand, it does not now. Using your logic, the drug companies should be getting $10,000 a dose for their patented medication. After all, what is wrong with profit.

    6. Kim says:

      That’s not the point Victim Du Jour, the point is, they are making a profit by telling us that the prices are rising for such a situation. A lie to the American public – and if you’re okay with that, then there is something wrong with your morals and values as a human being. Making a profit off of lies is NOT okay.

    7. insignificant says:

      lol…yeah we are forced ,dude…you try riding yer horse around the freeway system and see how far ya get,eh?

  5. Gary says:

    The USA is in for a world of hurt when the dollar gets dropped as the way these major commodities get priced.

    1. insignificant says:

      you mean the dollar gets dropped as the worlds reserve currency,eh?…then TSHF…so much for the recovery….fun while it lasted

  6. eddy b says:

    The problem is Wall Street and our worthless government

    1. Mike says:

      Now is your opportunity to make your government work Eddy B, why don’t you run for political office. The Tea Bagger party could use your vast intellect and political “savy”………..

    2. Tony says:

      I agree with you. Can’t wait to vote out the government allowing this!

      1. KM says:

        Yeah, the Democratic President and his minions who are printing all this money!

      2. william says:

        The government that allows record profits like the republicans, or the ones who can’t figure out how to redistribute oil profits the democrats?

    3. Kim says:

      eddy b, our government is not worthless, it’s completely CORRUPT. The only way to run for office and WIN is if your a millionaire and sell your soul to the devil. Why do you think Jesse Ventura stepped down? He flat out said, it’s corrupt and he doesn’t want to play the game.

  7. mrenviroment says:

    High fuel prices keep people from being able to spend for groceries, vacations and other personal items.

  8. earl main says:

    I think gas prices should only be $1.00 becuae the goverment makes a $90000000000000,00000000 a week on gas and thats high five robbery

  9. Tom says:

    I say we just go over to all those countrys and take the oil the hell with them what can they do , throw rocks at us ha ha

  10. Henry Olson says:

    take oil of the stock exchange or make the speculators take delivery of what they buy it would bring prices down in a hurry

  11. BMW says:

    I know there is a lot of negativity about the thus far failed ethanol program, although I think that ethanol should still be considered. For ethanol to succeed, a) it needs to be deregulated and taken out of control of big government and the oil companies who are dictating the production and prices; and b) resources other than corn can be used to produce it. For instance, legalize Hemp (not to be confused with the potent forms of marijuana that people smoke) for ethanol production….

    Also, with all of the modern day technology, develop safer ways to drill for oil which would virtually eliminate risks of an environmental disaster, The USA is said to be sitting on some of the richest oil fields in the World but we are not allowed to drill for it. I am not saying drill baby drill, although we can develop ways to harvest said oil with minimal risk to the environment. North Dakota is a case in point… there may not be enough oil in North Dakota to satisfy the whole nation, although there is oil there, and they are drilling for it.

    1. TomK says:

      Ethanol is not over-regulated, it is heavily subsidized by our government and without subsidies, Ethanol is a flop.
      Oil companies do not set the price of oil, the consumer does. It is simple supply and demand. If you think that the cost of oil is too high then just stop using it.

      1. BMW says:

        True ethanol is heavily subsidized in the USA, although from what I understand, the USA oil companies have dictated the prices and production of ethanol in our country in such a way that it will not compete or dig into oil company profits and sales of regular gasoline. Is not the ethanol program doing fine in Brazil?

      2. TomK says:

        The oil companies cannot set the price because the oil or ethanol. It is a traded commodity with the prices set by the buyers. Remember a few years ago when gasoline was over $4/barrel, the administration blamed speculators (the buyers) for the increase. Oil companies cannot set the price of their commodity any more than a miner can set the price of the theirs. Brazil uses sugar cane to create ethanol which is far more energy efficient to convert than corn. Brazil has been switching over to gasoline and diesel for it’s transportation anyway….TomK

      3. Ralph says:

        Hey Tom Have you ever heard of OPEC and the meetings they have? By controlling production amongst themselves they limit supply to keep the price higher.

      4. insignificant says:

        Ethenol is expensive to make and cuts into food cropage,eh?…how ya gonna feed all this people if’n ya burn it in yer fuel tank?

  12. Edwina Ann Walior says:

    The oil conglomerates stink and we have to suffer because of it., in higher prices. Wonder what the CEO’s bonuses are. Makes you want to puke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. And do you think OBAMA will do anything about it. THink again.

  13. dan l says:

    you guys might wanna work on your math, but dont worry the world will never make as much gas as it already has.

  14. Dave says:

    In dollars, yes it is huge. What is their ROI, return on investment. The oil companies were in the middle for ROI, for the Fortune 500 companies. Are they still there? That is the questions we need to ask. 5% is a lot more for an invest ment of 1 billion then it is for 1 million, just as an example.

  15. Kevin says:

    So we send all of our decent paying manufacturing to china or outsourcing to India and their economies do so well that it hurts our economy!? Didn’t the politicians and rich 1% tell us all of this restructuring of our jobs was going to help us and create lots of work for us? The govt and corporate greed has been lying and now the results are in. The deception by the corporate controlled govt continues to send this country spiraling down and yet we hear politician after politician saying it’s are fault for unfair taxation.

    1. Wesly says:

      And yet there are tons of working people who support the politicians who helped send jobs overseas.

  16. Elmo says:

    Lets say Bye Bye Obama. Your only a president 1 term. We need somebody that knows Economics and how it takes work to get pay. Not just government hand outs or campaign contributions.

  17. FED UP says:


  18. BMW says:

    Most stations are pay at the pump or cashier before you can fuel up. If you can fuel before paying, and try fuel and ditch without paying, they will probably have security cameras to catch your license plate and a picture of you and your car, so you are risking being busted.

  19. Richard says:

    Obama said before he was elected that energy prices would “necessarily have to sky rocket” for his green energy plans to work. Why the surprise?

    1. reagan says:

      Obama is a moron Richard

    2. Ralph says:

      Yes when oil gets high enough ethanol becomes a reasonable additive. The cost of building solar and wind sources then also become viable. The cost of batteries for electric cars become more viable when fuel is less. Obama is not the moron on this. It is pretty simple.

    3. Kim says:

      Obama also said that he would abolish the Patriot Act but reauthorized it, he said he’d pull our troops out of the East once he was put into office but since has tripled our troops, the only thing that I have found any truth to what Obama has ever said is that he will bring CHANGE, and darn it, he sure has……and it wasn’t good change. So, are the energy prices rising because of his “green energy” scam, or are they rising to never fall again, causing the dollar to collapse, and bringing on a one world currency? Let’s wait until it’s too late to do anything about it….as we Americans have proven are very good at.

    4. insignificant says:

      “green energy”…lol…the technologies just aren;’t there,eh?…what we do havein this country is alot o coal,and cleaner burning technologies,but Big Bro is throwin’ wrenches into that recourse,too,before we have something else,and down south when the cold weather hit ,electrical grids couldn’t cope with the demand

  20. Krissi says:

    I so hope you get caught. Genius.

  21. Richard says:

    Flunk basic economics anyone. as long as the new dollars DO NOT leave the country there is no difference. In short more BS!!! Banks distribute new money. to get this “new money” you give up your electronic money in other accts. Zero change.

  22. Billy says:

    You have to be a crook to make it now days.

    When I go to cub food or rainbow foods to grocery shop I always put a few items in the lower basket so the cashier won’t see them at checkout.

    1. insignificant says:

      yeah…sure ya do@Billy…good luck with that

  23. Billy says:

    I remember when gas was $2.00 a gallon, I thought that was high.

    How high is to high before us stupid ignorant Americans do something about it.

  24. Hang Billy the skid says:

    Why don’t the police track this moron Billy through his e-mail address he puts in every time he leaves one of his moronic comments on Wcco and he leaves allot. What wrong didn’t momma give you enough attention growing up?

    1. insignificant says:

      his e-mail address is private,eh?…we don’t need no police tracking our ISP’s,eh?

  25. Hang Billy the skid says:

    Sorry for the comment above, my alcoholism gets the better of me sometimes.

  26. Billy says:

    Sorry for being a moron I guess I’m a little messed up from sleeping with all the men I meet. I can’t help myself I just love men!!!!!!

  27. Billy says:

    We live in a society of crooks.

    If they want to crook me out of gas with prices being too high, i will just crook right back and fill up my tank without paying.

    I refuse to pay high gas prices.

    1. insignificant says:

      lol…you do not…if they aren’t looking out with binoculars recodng yer plate# they have cameras focused on ya…lol

  28. Billy says:

    I have not been caught yet, I have gotten away with hundreds of dollars in free gas.

  29. Julie says:

    I don’t know why all the fuss about oil in the Middle East, we get most of our oil from Canada. We should all be protesting the oil companies and wall street for the siphoning of billions of dollars from Americans. There is no shortage, hardly anything we use comes out of the middle east, yet our own country is dead set on breaking the people of this country. This game needs to end, this will only contribute even more to the recession (depression) we are already in.

  30. Billy says:

    America is becoming its own worse enemy.

  31. Mike P says:

    It is absolutely true that oil companies do not set prices for oil or refined gasoline . They can only offer the inventory to the market place like any other company offers their product. Supply is also not the problem . We are currently at 20 year highs of refined gasoline in the U.S. Demand is also not the issue . We are quite stable as far as U. S. demand . So why are prices skyrocketing ? It’s purely the speculation in the so called futures market . Billions of dollars are being invested daily to gamble on the future price of these commodities with no intention of actually taking delivery of any of these energy commodities . They buy and sell in the futures market sometimes making millions of dollars with a 1 cent move on gasoline or oil . The insiders love it when there is volativity in these markets. They can make money when it goes up and when it goes down. It is true that oil companies make money also because eventually someone will have to take delivery of the actual product. It’s a dangerous business that hurts the average person who must ultimately pay the end user price . I am a free marketer, but this is not going to help rebuild our economy.

  32. albert says:

    Way to go WCCO. Take the words of some guy with unknown credentials in economics and paint a whole tragedy around it. Lousy reporting – period

  33. V for Vendetta says:

    The Federal Reserve as “Federal” as Federal Express and Ben Bernanke are strating to be exposed for the criminals that they are. They are running the largest counter-fitting operation in the world and they are rendering the US Dollar worthless. I have been buying gold and silver for some time now. This is only the beginning. Inflation and printing money never works and is the last act of desperation of every failing nation state…look no further than to Zimbabwe and Germany. Hyperinflation does some really bad things. WCCO you have regained some of my respect for this story. Thank you.

    1. I'm Awake says:

      V for Vendetta, that’s awesome that you are aware of the truth, but when our food supply runs dry, are you going to be able to eat that gold and silver? Maybe instead of putting your extra money into gold and silver (remember, this stuff was once confiscated from the Americans and will happen again) you should be using that extra money on hoarding food for the upcoming food shortage that has been all over the news.

  34. Very Concerned American says:

    This is only the beginning of the end of our way of life as we know it in the United States. Our out of control, continuous printing of more and more dollars is doing nothing but furthering the devaluation of the dollar. China, and the rest of our creditors around the world, will soon turn their backs on the dollar. Then finally, once the dollar becomes more worthless than the paper in which it is printed on, the world will stop accepting dollar dealings for oil. Once the dollar loses its status as the world’s reserve currency, most Americans are screwed. Better start preparing. This inflation – soon to become hyperinflation is the real deal. It will shake the very foundation of this country and our way of life as we know it as Americans….

  35. Prepared for It says:

    Ron Paul warned us about printing money, and all the sheep said “yes we cam” and stood behind McCain. Both Obama and McCain are neo-cons serving big banks and big corporations.

    Don’t blame me, i tried to warn all the people at my convention to vote for Ron Paul and they seemed like they were in a trance from what their “leaders” told them to do. Good luck, but I got prepared for this

    1. insignificant says:

      there’s been plenty of warnings out there for the sheeple…PAY NO TAX AND END THE FED!!!

    2. I'm Awake says:

      Heck yes! So glad to see comments from other “awake” Americans in MN. Sometimes my family and I feel so alone not knowing other people who are awake to the truth of our nation and real true agenda. That’s all I wanted to say :o)

  36. Andrew Mostovoy says:

    Everyone here seems to have a magical solution: Obama’s fault, Democrats’ fault, Republicans’ fault, if McCain was president, crisis in the Middle East, planets misaligned. Get out of your hole and look outside people. First, fuel prices in America are still some of the lowest in the world, second the entire global economy is rapidly changing so comparing today to any other time in modern history is ridiculous. The oil business is a global economy and its price per barrel is regulated by a lot more than what US political party is in power. Maybe my fellow Americans you should adjust the way you live, what you drive and set your expectations to the the world ahead and not what you had 10 years ago.

  37. Truth about oil.. says:

    exxon mobile makes about 15cents a gallon, after they subtract all of the costs of finding it. Drilling holes in the ground. Making pipelines, refining it and getting it to a gas station for you to buy 24 hours a day. Da GUB”MINT doesn’t do anything to this process and and depending where you live makes betweein 45 -100 a gallon? Who is the crook here. Everytime we buy gas we are forced to subsudize losing enterprizes like mass tranist that loses money, SCAMATRACK aka amtrak or other foolish trains that go nowhere…

    This si the real rage that should be set upon the federal and state extortionists…

    1. Ralph says:

      The government uses gas tax to pay for roads. Did you think what you drove on was free to build and maintain?

  38. Lake Elmo says:

    Here is something I think you will all enjoy, The United States Debt Clock:

  39. The Crux of the Biscuit says:

    “The United States has increased the printing of dollars and a lot of these major commodities like oil are priced in dollars on the world market, so if the dollar falls because we print it a lot, the price of those commodities go up,” Vang said.

    The great lie. They are ‘printing’ money. They borrow it to banks at zero interest. Think that money is ending up out in the economy? Thry go borrowing some of it sometime. The banks are so insolvent it isn’t funny. None of the money is used except to shore up bank profits.

  40. Stop the wolves in sheep's clothing says:

    Very Concerned American hit it right on the nose. That’s pretty much exactly what I would have said.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Watch & Listen LIVE