Diesel prices continued their slow descent toward pre-Katrina levels
ProMiles reported a national average of $2.865 per gallon for diesel on
Sept. 12, though some areas were still higher than that.
California, Idaho, Nevada, Vermont and Washington state still had
averages over $3 per gallon, according to ProMiles.
In California, where diesel prices have been above $3 a gallon for
several weeks, authorities have reported an increase in diesel theft, particularly
in farming counties such as Fresno, Madera and San Joaquin.
The Los Angeles Times reported that thieves stole 80,000 gallons of diesel fuel from growers in the
state in 2004. This year, they are on pace to break that record.
Meanwhile, oil is also getting back to its pre-Katrina levels. Prices
for light, sweet crude fell to a low of $62.70 per barrel before settling just
above $63 in midday trading Monday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
As of Saturday, Sept. 10, the federal Minerals Management Service
reported that more than 120 oil and gas platforms were still shut down in the
Gulf of Mexico. In addition, as much as 60 percent of the region’s daily oil
production was still unavailable to the market.