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Transportation United States News

2012 Set Record For Most Expensive Gas In US 430

An anonymous reader writes "According to data from the American Automobile Association, the average price for a gallon of gas in the U.S. was higher in 2012 than in any year before it. Nationwide, gas averaged $3.60/gallon, up from $3.51/gallon in 2011. 'The states with the most expensive annual averages for 2012 included Hawaii ($4.31), Alaska ($4.09), California ($4.03), New York ($3.90) and Connecticut ($3.90). The states with the least-expensive annual averages included South Carolina ($3.35), Missouri ($3.38), Mississippi ($3.39), Tennessee ($3.40) and Oklahoma ($3.41). The highest daily statewide average of the year was $4.67 in Calif. on Oct. 9, while the lowest daily statewide average was $2.91 a gallon in South Carolina on July 3.' Bloomberg reports that fuel consumption is down 3.6% compared to last year, while U.S. oil production reached almost 7 million barrels a day recently, a level that hasn't been reached since 1993. AAA predicts gas prices will be cheaper in 2013."
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2012 Set Record For Most Expensive Gas In US

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  • Re:Price (Score:5, Informative)

    by zubieta ( 2653061 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @07:06PM (#42445637)
    Did some research, and as 2011, Colombia ranked 4th in price of gas (from most to least) in the whole American continent. USA ranked 15th, and Venezuela ranks last. Curiously, Venezuela is a country that is our immediate neighbor, and their price/gallon is under a dollar. We extract, they extract, but the difference is that their government has seized the properties of many international oil companies, kicking them out of the country, I think that near 2007~2008 they seized ExxonMobil assets and kicked them out, making their refineries state-controlled, which is really awful.
  • Re:PEAK OIL! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @07:07PM (#42445645)

    Psst buddy: here's a new year's resolution for you:

    Starting in 2013, I will no longer use the made-up word "sheeple" which instantly brands me as an underemployed political talk radio addict.

  • by crow ( 16139 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @07:12PM (#42445693) Homepage Journal

    Gas prices before taxes are fairly consistent throughout most of the developed world. My understanding is that the difference between Europe and the United States has arisen primarily because Europe taxes as a percentage of the price, while the United States taxes on the amount of gasoline. Hence, if the base price doubles, the taxes also double in Europe, but stay the same in the United States. Over time, the difference in price has risen, and should be expected to grow even larger.

  • by loufoque ( 1400831 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @07:17PM (#42445729)

    $4.31 per gallon is 0.86 euro per litre.
    i.e. the highest price ever of gas in the worst part of the US is more than two times cheaper than the average price in Europe.

  • by sco08y ( 615665 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @07:51PM (#42446051)

    In the short term the price of gas goes up and down. However in the long term the price of gas goes up and up. It is almost like oil is a non-renewable resource or something. Nah that is crazy commy talk.

    No, it's called "inflation," and it happens with all sorts of commodities. We measure it with the Consumer Price Index.

    The real cost of commodities generally declines over time. In fact, Julian Simon and Paul Erlich made a famous bet about this. Paul Erlich, you'll recall, was the doomsayer who predicted the population bomb and recommended eugenics, sterilization and a global government control over all resources. (Notably, the coauthor for his book laying all this out was John Holdren [], now Obama's chief science adviser.)

    They bet on the prices of various commodities, and every single one of them went down []. Simon won his bet, and Erlich had to pay up.

    But it doesn't matter how many times you loons are wrong, you'll just keep predicting doom, over and over again.

  • Re:PEAK OIL! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sepodati ( 746220 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @08:05PM (#42446147) Homepage

    We pay a yearly road tax based on engine size in Belgum. I'm sure it's done the same in other European countries, too, but I've only lived here.

  • Re:Nah... (Score:5, Informative)

    by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @08:33PM (#42446321) Journal
    It's not cars that cause the deficit, it's subsidies for buses and trains [] that are depleting the Highway Trust Fund. Congress authorized spending from that pot of money for mass transit - and it's a massive drain on the system. Conversely, cars actually generate net revenue for the system.
  • by xaxa ( 988988 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @08:56PM (#42446459)

    The UK does both: there is a fixed tax (a "duty"), and a percentage (VAT). The VAT applies to the duty as well as the base price.

    The current rate is 58p per litre. []

    The petrol station opposite my house is selling fuel for £1.39/L, so the cost is (58p fuel + 58p duty) * 1.20 VAT = £1.39.

    I think it's the same mechanism in the rest of the EU.

  • Re:Nah... (Score:5, Informative)

    by EmperorArthur ( 1113223 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @09:24PM (#42446647)

    In the US all public non-toll roads are maintained by the government. The fun part is figuring out at what level of government.

    Most/all of the maintenance is done by the local governments and individual states. Not only do individual states tax gasoline sales, they also receive money from the federal government. This is how the US government forces the individual states to do things which would otherwise be unconstitutional.

    For example, the US constitution gives individual states the right to set a minimum drinking age. However, if the states wish to receive federal highway funds they must set the minimum above 21. Basically, the federal government implements taxes that should be on the state level, then extorts/bribes the states to pass laws that the federal government constitutionally can not pass. [] []

  • Re:Price (Score:5, Informative)

    by clarkkent09 ( 1104833 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @10:02PM (#42446883)

    Due to short term thinking like that, Venezuela is a rotten country which, without the fortunate accident of having the largest oil reserves in the world, would be an impoverished hellhole like Cuba. 80% of Venezuela's exports are oil. Without oil, Venezuelans would be living on $20/month just like Cubans. Oh and did I mention that Venezuela has the 5th highest murder rate in the world and I'm not talking "among developed countries". People complain about the US rate of 4.2 per 100K, try Venezuelan rate of 45 per 100K.

  • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @12:19AM (#42447661) Journal

    I grew up in the midwest, where we really didn't have much of a "mass transit system". Sure, we had a bus system, but it was primarily used by people too poor to own their own car, or people unable to get/keep a driver's license (for anything from medical reasons to alcohol problems). Basically, the bus was NOT a pleasant experience to ride.

    I was always being told how great the mass transit was in other cities, and how much I'd like it if I didn't actually have to use a car to get around.

    Well, I relocated to the D.C. area for a new job, not that long ago, and so far I'm not at all convinced. The fact is, it's really frickin' expensive to get around up here, and most of that really seems to be artificially manufactured by the government. For example, if I go to areas such as Bethesda, MD or the part of Rockville, MD near Bethesda where the red line metro runs and has multiple stations, the taxes placed on gas make it a good 50 cents per gallon or more higher than in the northern part of Rockville, or out in Germantown or Quince Orchard. Worse yet? Everyplace you go in areas near the metro, you're hit up for expensive parking for your vehicle too! If you work in downtown Bethesda, for example, you're stuck parking in one of the municipal parking garages, or possibly in one owned by one of the office buildings you work in. You can count on that costing you a good $140 per month or more. Need to drop a package off at a FedEx location around there, perhaps? Good luck finding street parking without feeding a meter first. Heck -- say you just want to drive your car to the nearest metro station with parking and take the metro in to work from there? Even that will set you back $5 per day, before paying for the metro fare itself -- and many stations have no or very limited parking, so you might drive to a station only to not get a space!

    All of this helps create the argument that you should use and love the govt. provided mass transit, because it costs SO much to use your own car instead.

    Well -- I tried to do things their way, and IMO, it's severely limiting. Essentially, you give up a considerable amount of your freedom in the interest of avoiding some of the govt. mandated penalties for using your car. On a shopping trip, for example? Good luck carrying anything back that won't fit in a couple of bags. You'll have to lug it on the metro train with you. And say a friend texts you during the work day and asks if you want to meet up at a restaurant after work? Without your car, you may just have to pass on that if it's not one of the places strategically close enough to you or a metro stop so you can get there!

    To their credit, the metro trains DO run on a pretty regular and efficient schedule ... but they sure do have a nasty problem with the escalators to/from the below ground stations breaking down. Again, not fun if you're carrying heavy stuff around with you.

    The whole thing, to me, stinks of a forced attempt to get people to conform to an environmentally "green" agenda more than anything else. I live far enough west of the metro D.C. area so even their buses to the closest metro stop only come here a few times in the early AM and again, a few times around the dinner hour after work gets out. If I have to work late, no bus for me! And oh yeah, they don't even come out here at all on weekends.

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