NEWTON, Mass. -- Joe Petrowski, managing director of Mercantor Partners, former CEO of Gulf Oil and a board member of the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA), appeared on CNBC's Squawk on the Street to discuss gasoline prices.
"I still think we're going to go to $4 within the month on a national average price from today's $3.70, but the good news in is that we lessened our reliance on gasoline because of the urbanization, Zip Car, Uber [and] now families don't own three cars per family," he said. "There's a profound demographic trend going on downstream in the industry."
Petrowski said that the federal government could help prices could go lower, but that government can't solve all the problems. He said that "18 % of the world oil is threatened by ISIS," the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria, and by hurricanes, but "we have things that we could do here domestically, and [SIGMA] will be in Washington lobbying for certain changes [such as] more infrastructure, relief from shipping."
"What we forget is Chicago is 20 cents a gallon cheaper than the East Coast. The Gulf Coast is 30 cents cheaper than New York. Yet we don't really have the way to move it there," he continued.
Concerning oil, he said, "I'm in full support of the administration allowing the exports of crude, because, in fact, one of the big costs of the commodities is not just the cost of production or the inelasticity of demand, which is a problem in gasoline, it's the fact, as my old boss used to say, the function of a good commodities trader is to move it from where it is to where it isn't."
Petrowski has had a long career in international commodity trading, energy and retail management and public policy development. In 2005, he was named president and CEO of Gulf Oil LP, and elected to the Gulf Oil board. In Oct. 2008 he was named as CEO of Framingham, Mass.-based Cumberland Gulf Group, the combined Gulf Oil and Cumberland Farms. In Sept. 2013, he stepped down from Cumberland Gulf Group. He has written numerous articles on energy and public policy, regulation and market development and is a frequent guest on MSNBC, CNBC, Fox Business News and Bloomberg radio. He has been a contributing editor to The Wall Street Journal and has testified before Congress and several regulatory agencies on energy and international trade issues.