Gasoline prices have never been higher this time of the year. At $3.53 a gallon, prices are already up 25 cents since Jan. 1. And experts say they could reach a record $4.25 a gallon by late April.
"You're going to see a lot more staycations this year," says Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research. "When the price gets anywhere near $4, you really see people react."
Already, W. Howard Coudle, a retired machinist from Crestwood, Mo., has seen his monthly gasoline bill rise to $80 from about $60 in December. The closest service station is selling regular for $3.39 per gallon, the highest he's ever seen.
No, it's not an April Fool's joke.
Meanwhile, the citizens of the People's Republik of Kalifornia are paying the price for legislators' energy idiocy:
Just in time for Presidents Day: get ready for the long holiday weekend's highest prices ever in Southern California as $4 gasoline is expected to arrive in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and probably Orange County, too.
That's what energy analysts are predicting as the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area reached $3.996 a gallon overnight, up nearly 2 cents since Thursday. That was also a jump of 15.9 cents a gallon since last week.
Which is why even The Washington Post called Obama's decision to shutter the massive Keystone XL pipeline "an act of insanity."