WASHINGTON (AP) — A plunge in gas prices last month lowered consumer prices by the most in six years. But excluding the volatile food and energy costs, prices rose.
The consumer price index fell 0.7 percent in January, the sharpest drop since December 2008, the Labor Department said Thursday. Tumbling prices at the pump drove nearly all of the decline. Core prices, which exclude food and energy, rose 0.2 percent.
An explosion and fire at an Exxon Mobil refinery in Torrance, Calif., last week resulted in a spike in West Coast fuel prices, and it may take considerable time for southern California to obtain supplies to re-balance the market, the Energy Information Administration warns.
CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — The average price of a regular gallon of gas jumped 13 cents in the past two weeks to $2.33, repeating the hike seen two weeks prior for a total 26 cents rise in the last month.
Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday that the rise follows months of crashing prices and is still $1.08 per gallon less than a year ago. She attributed the rise to an increase in crude oil prices in mid-January and labor strikes at several refineries.
Refinery shutdowns in California like the one caused by Wednesday’s blast near L.A. leave the state more vulnerable to gasoline price increases because the state's fuel infrastructure is somewhat isolated from the rest of the country, Reuters reports.
TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California oil refinery unit that was damaged by an explosion was already offline for unplanned maintenance when the fire occurred, industry analysts said Thursday.
The so-called fluid catalytic cracker unit refines gasoline and is critical to producing California-grade fuel. It was down for two days after problems with a recently repaired component within it when another component exploded, the Oil Price Information Service, which tracks the oil industry, said Thursday. The blast caused a fire that shook the neighborhood on Wednesday and rained debris and ash on nearby lawns. Four contractors were taken to the hospital for evaluation for minor injuries.
TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — An explosion and fire tore through part of a Southern California oil refinery, shattering both a four-story structure and the peace of people whose nearby homes shook from the blast.
Wednesday's blast occurred in a recently installed processing facility, Fire Department spokesman Steve Deuel said. Four contractors suffered minor injuries.
TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — An explosion devastated part of a major refinery on Wednesday morning, raining down ash in the area and, experts say, likely helping to increase California gas prices, which have been creeping up in recent weeks.
A huge smokestack flare — in which workers were burning off flammable product after the explosion — could be seen for miles around. Four contractors suffered minor injuries as workers fled the site of the blast, according to ExxonMobil, which owns the refinery.
WASHINGTON (AP) — In recent months, the stage seemed set for American consumers to do what they've traditionally done best: Spend money — and drive the economy.
The lowest gas prices in five years had given people more spending money. Employers added over 1 million jobs from November through January, the best three-month pace in 17 years. Businesses even raised pay in December. Economists had forecast that last week's retail sales report for January would show a healthy rise.
NEW YORK (AP) — Gasoline prices can spike for all kinds of reasons that make skeptical drivers roll their eyes: "tension" in the Middle East, a refinery suddenly shuts down for maintenance, or the annual springtime switch to summer blends of gasoline.
A refinery strike, however, would seem understandable. Yet three weeks into a walkout at 11 refineries around the country, the impact on the prices of gasoline, diesel and other fuels is barely discernable.
Many of the loans that banks have issued to oil and gas producers are being flagged as substandard, according to warnings from regulators like the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation are monitoring a local creek after dead fish were discovered following Thursday’s CSX derailment that spilled 24,000 gallons of acrylonitrile, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports.
The Greek vote to reject a European bailout package, combined with last week’s news of an uptick in U.S. crude production, sent oil prices plummeting early Monday. U.S. benchmark crude slumped $2.59 to $54.34 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent lost $1.32 to $59, Reuters reports.