Gas prices spiked in the Flint area just before Christmas. They took another jump just before the end of 2011. Less than a week into 2012, the price jumped again.

Unleaded gasoline could be had for less than 3 dollars a gallon in Flint a few days before Christmas. Now it's 3.59 just 3 weeks later.

Did demand/consumption bring about the price hike? Negative. Instability in the Middle East has caused speculators to jack up the price of crude oil and unleaded gas on the commodities markets.
Iran is threatening to close off the Straits of Hormuz, the narrow waterway that separates Iran and Iraq and many other oil-producing nations. 20% of the world's oil passes through there.

If hostilities escalate, we could feel much more pain at the pump. $3.59 might seem like a bargain by the time spring arrives.

Let's hope that cooler heads prevail in this international standoff. It's a bit chilly to be riding my bike this time of year.