NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I sat down to talk with Joe Deaux today about gas prices, which continue to ratchet higher this summer.
No one seems to be able to make sense of it, with production of crude oil increasing by leaps and bounds in the Bakken and further north in the Canadian oil sands, all while demand for gasoline continues to drop as well due to difficult national economics and an increasing efficiency of our cars.
So what the heck is going on? We certainly have no logjam from the refineries; the United States is now a net exporter of refined products, including gasoline, for the first time in our history. We now make more gasoline that we can even use.
And supply, despite some small inventory drops, continues to increase from the Bakken and Eagle Ford shale plays as well as the heavier crude from the Athabasca in Canada. The percentage of oil we import from the Middle East continues to drop to almost insignificant levels.So if supply is ample and demand is down, there isn't a fundamental reason for the increase of gas prices. If prices are instead rising, the reason must be financial. I've talked a lot about the financial reasons that oil is rallying right now with Jim Cramer and Joe in other videos, including my belief that oil has become the new gold in hard asset allocations for hedge funds and investors. But the point is that even though it is difficult for investors to believe that oil and gas prices can be primarily influenced by financial factors even when the fundamentals don't support it, that doesn't make it any less true. I talk more about gas prices and where they're likely to go from here in the video above. At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Follow @dan_dicker This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.