Demand should be low right now. Summer is over, the kids are back in school and a whole lot of people are not going to work every day. The price per barrel is under $100 right now. So why the high prices? I suspect we'll hear that when demand is high the price goes up, when demand is low the price goes up, etc.
Speculators have something to do with it, but that would be price per barrel. If it is because of the cost to refine it it is likely the cost of regulation, which is in effect an imbedded tax. That would be that magic lever in the oval office you guys are flippantly referring to. The oil company record profits argument is another of those "let's go kill the rich guys" arguments. You know the oil companies make less per gallon than even just the federal tax, right? The oil companies find it, pump it, transport it, refine it, store it and transport it again and make less off of it that the government does when they do... nothing. State taxes and distance to ship allow for state to state differences (it's always cheaper in SC than it is here in GA), but I suspect the biggest part of it would be federal taxes at one level or another.
Let's try this one on, all you Obama supporters. You piss and moan about how much the oil companies are making and want to do something about that, but what about looking to the current administration and demanding they back off on what they are collecting? Same goes for taxes. Quit whining about the rich not paying enough and face the reality. What they pay is only offensive to you because you feel you pay too much. The rich don't make tax law, the government does. If your taxes were as low as they are for the rich (and I understand that they pay a higher percentage but less of their disposable income) then there would be nothing to complain about. You're doing it wrong. Go ahead and equalize it, not by raising theirs but by lowering yours.