Gas is going up. No surprise there. Why is gas going up? At the risk of not sounding facetious enough, gas is going up because someone is concerned. About what is becoming increasingly unclear. We never are really sure, are we? We pull up to the pump, and we pay what it costs because we have no other choice.

Gas is going up. No surprise there. Why is gas going up? At the risk of not sounding facetious enough, gas is going up because someone is concerned. About what is becoming increasingly unclear. We never are really sure, are we? We pull up to the pump, and we pay what it costs because we have no other choice.

Gas rose to $3.58 a gallon this week. It is “expected” to go above $4 by this summer, like it did in 2008. Expected? By who? Probably the shysters who trade in gasoline futures on Wall Street. I certainly do not expect it to go up, because there simply is no reason for it to go up.

Supplies are in good shape. Refining capacity is well within marginal levels, even with the change to summer formulas in populated areas. Oh, and demand has actually gone down since 2008. So why the price spike, Mr. Wall Street?

When we hear on the news that gas prices are going up, it usually comes from network TV newscasts first. That is followed by talking heads on cable business outlets, and business writers at major national newspapers. They are the harbingers of doom. The reasons are always the same: fears of unrest in the Middle East, or increased demand.

This time it’s both. There is concern over whether Iran can make good on its threat to close the Straight of Hormuz – the very narrow entrance to the Persian Gulf most of the world’s oil passes through on its way to market. The other is the belief that economic activity and demand may pick up in the European Zone.

The U.S. Navy owns the Persian Gulf, and commanders have already debunked the Iranian threat. Apparently, Iran’s fleet of used tugboats is no match for the No. 1 Navy in the world. It’s also hard to believe that economic activity is picking anywhere enough to use more gasoline. What exactly is the European Zone, anyway?

These so-called concerns are nothing more than conjured up excuses, using nebulous and general terms. They sound real, but upon closer examination, cannot be defined. Should we not wait until something does happen to raise prices? In south Florida, do we not wait until a freeze happens before we jack up the price of orange juice? If all it took was “concern” about cold weather, juice would skyrocket every time a cold front dropped below Atlanta.

Gas prices stopped being about supply and demand a long time ago. In fact, the run-up in prices we all suffered through in 2008 was more about profit than it was about basic economics.

Domestic crude oil drilling is at a 25-year high. New reserves are being found virtually every day. In spite of drilling restrictions in the Gulf of Mexico, we seem to be awash in crude oil.

So please tell me again, and be specific this time, what exactly has happened to make gasoline prices go up in February?

I am concerned.