In WSJ today, it talks about how your mom and pop corner gas stations, a fabric of Middle America, sells gas at prices less than what it costs. Even with market prices reaching all time highs, store owners are not reaping the profits or saying, "cha-ching".
Uncertainty and fluctuations in prices force merchants to absorb most of the costs to remain competitive and loyal. Their strategy is to sacrifice profits in gas in hopes that the same customer base will walk in their store and purchase coffee and donuts, a definite profit margin winner.
What these mom and pop stores may or may not know is that the big major oil companies have already 'been there, done that' and have long ago executed an exit strategy by selling out most of their convenient stores because they know there's no money in it. The profits are obviously in the wholesale business and in the process of refining the crude to its finished product. Therefore, what we have left are these mom and pop stores, middle america (or stuck in the middle), hung to dry.
I'm sure you've heard this cry before, but here it goes again : "What America needs is alternative fuels to drive new techology and other sources of profits". (Toyota is now mass marketing Hybrid autos while GM and Ford sit on their laurels.) And, I don't want to hear about ANWAR; leave that place alone (I regret that Democrats ever caved in to this matter). Remember, these oil companies are linked to Bush either directly, indirectly or both. The spike in oil a month ago only fattened the profits for the Majors not middle America - a clever inventory control policy set forth by the usual suspects.
In Bush's final years, he needs to develop an energy policy to reinvigorate new technology in America. Hey, Bush don't forget you work for Middle America, not the Middle East.