Rick Ungar at the Washington Monthly speculated that the 13-cent/gallon increase in gas prices over the last several weeks is the result of Wall Street trying to stymie the president's re-election chances.
Of course this doesn't explain the high gas prices during the Summer leading up to the 2008 election when a Republican was in office at the time.
I tend to buy the more verifiable explanation in this Ungar paragraph:
According to Kloza, a healthy percentage of the increase is the result of speculative money flowing into gasoline futures contracts since the beginning of the year, mostly coming from hedge fund and big money mangers. “We’ve seen about $11 billion of speculative money come in on the long side of gas futures,” Kloza says. “Each of the last three weeks we’ve seen a record net long position being taken.”
This is exactly what's causes several recent spikes in gas prices going back to 2006. Do I even need to suggest tighter regulations on this crapola-on-a-stick?