Actually, they don’t. While oil companies are perceived as being able to control and drive up the price of gasoline in reality there are different factors contributing to high gas prices. Oil prices are affected by supply and demand like anything else.
Another factor that determines prices are oil price futures. These are traded on the commodities futures exchange and fluctuate daily based on what investors think the price of oil will be in the future.
The declining dollar also plays a role in high gas prices. Since gas price is determined in dollars the decline of the dollar over the years has put pressure on those prices.
Lastly, commodities traders sometimes drive up the price of gas due to increased flow into investments in oil futures (since people are no longer investing their money in real estate or stock markets as much).
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