Never had one lesson!
Well, since this comes up every year, I'm going to do a quick explanation about why gas prices fluctuate the way they do. Then I can refer back to it without repeating myself. Oil companies, despite what you hear in the news, do not control the price of gasoline. It is the nature of the marketplace that they need to sell their goods at the market price. If they sell at too high a price, no one will buy their product and they will lose money. If they sell at too low a price, they also lose money because they are not covering their costs. The profit margin in a capital and asset-intensive industry like Oil and Gas is slim, even though it does amount to billions of dollars
I've drawn a basic supply-demand curve here. The point where the supply (blue) and demand (red) lines cross is called equilibrium (dotted line); where the price (P) of the good is set. Either line can slide back and forth horizontally as quantity supplied increases or decreases, or as quantity demanded increases or decreases. As demand increases, producers attempt to match it by increasing supply. If they can achieve this, the price stays the same. If demand outpaces supply, the price increases.
This essentially is what the curve for oil looks like. The supply line is more vertical because refineries currently produce at near 100% capacity to meet existing demand. This makes the oil market especially vulnerable to current events: weather, war, OPEC embargoes, that kind of thing. Say that the price before a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico was at P1 and the supply was at S1. Once the hurricane hit and interrupted operations of oil companies in the region, the supply would decrease to S2 due to a reduction in quantity and the price would increase to P2. Notice that demand stays exactly the same.
This is not to say that demand for oil never changes, because of course it does, but gradually. Demand for oil is quite inelastic (meaning that it changes very little regardless of the price). The demand curve I drew in the second figure could be represented as much more vertical than it is, but I left it the way it is for instructional purposes.
I've had one economics class ever, in which this was explained to me by an ultraliberal economics professor. It was nice how he was able to effectively convey the subject matter without interjecting personal politics into it. If I can understand this, it shouldn't be too difficult for even the looniest of moonbats. The price of gasoline depends very little on the companies that sell it, and only slightly more on the government, and then only when the government manipulates the regulations and taxes on the companies that sell gasoline. More regulation and taxes mean higher prices for consumers. Is this clear?