Supply and demand rule the gas station marketplace. High gas prices currently reflect the free market’s attempt to ration a limited supply. Both raw crude and refined product supply are limited to due to the havoc inflicted by Hurricane Katrina.
Gasoline is the most competitive priced product. Every day you see a particular station’s price posted and viewable from the comfort of your car while you drive down the street. If a particular station’s price is out of line you can stop at a different station with a more reasonable price. (I know many will argue no posted price is reasonable right now and believe me I feel the pain too being an avid water skier.) When was the last time you saw the price of your favorite consumer product posted for you to view on the street?