What keeps driving up the price at the pump? One analyst who tracks gas prices around the nation says it's certainly not gasoline retailers, many of whom are looking to get out of the business. Ben Brockwell, Director of the Oil Price Information Service , addressed the annual Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers meeting in Middleton, and says two of the traditional power players in the energy game — Big Oil and OPEC — are no longer calling the shots when it comes to setting the price of refined product. "Wall Street now determines what you pay for a gallon of gasoline at the pump, or the price of diesel fuel," says Brockwell.
Brockwell says hedge funds are betting on oil prices going even higher. In fact, he expects the market to hit $120 a barrel very quickly, meaning still higher average prices to consumers. Brockwell blames lawmakers in Washington for runaway prices: he says they "don't have the guts" to regulate speculation.