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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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  • Price (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zubieta ( 2653061 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @06:58PM (#42445565)
    Still cheaper than my country (Colombia) We extract oil in our land, and yet we have quite high prices. On average ~4.65 US for low octane fuel (81 ~ 84!!!) and the high octane fuel (which is really a joke by international standards) is ~5.50 US for 87~90 in octane scale
  • srsly America. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dominux ( 731134 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @07:02PM (#42445597) Homepage

    you have cheap fuel. Really. []

  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @07:03PM (#42445611) Homepage

    In real dollars, [] i.e. corrected for inflation, it's about the same as in 1979-1980.

    It's interesting, without shortages and lines at the pump, how much less threatening it seems. I remember visiting my aunt that Christmas and being quite concerned because our tank wasn't big enough to hold gas for the whole round trip, and in addition to lines, many, many gas stations had short hours--there was no certainty of being able to find a gas station open on Christmas day.

  • by jklovanc ( 1603149 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @07:07PM (#42445649)

    The increase in the price of gas is 2.5%, The average inflation rate for 2012 was 2.1%. So the increase was 15% over inflation but that is understandable. I bet most of the things we but would have a highest price ever this year.

  • Re:Nah... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FranTaylor ( 164577 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @07:17PM (#42445733)

    And they will be used, because it's been the stated goal of the Obama Administration and others to keep fossil fuel costs high in order to "persuade" people to switch to alternatives, like mass transit (powered by windmills, no doubt).

    Someone need to remind you WHY WE HAVE A GOVERNMENT.

    You seem to think that our society runs "on automatic" and that government interference is "bad"

    The NEWS for you is that the entire reason we have a petroleum infrastructure and gas stations and roads and cars is because the GOVERNMENT "persuaded" people to adopt them.

    Oh but YOU seem to think that the government gets in the way of civilization when in fact government is the DIFFERENCE between prosperity and despair.

    Why don't you TRY to speculate on what the price of gasoline would be if the government were not interfering. Trust me you won't like the answer.

  • Re:Nah... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot.hackish@org> on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @07:23PM (#42445799)

    The gas tax has been declining due to inflation to the point where it doesn't even pay for highway construction/maintenance anymore. The Highway Trust Fund has been running a deficit since 2008, and has to grab general tax revenues to pay for it. I think it's fair to raise the gas tax to a level where it covers the cost of maintaining highways, instead of subsidizing them out of general taxes.

  • Re:Price (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @08:05PM (#42446145)

    Still cheaper than my country (Colombia) We extract oil in our land, and yet we have quite high prices. On average ~4.65 US for low octane fuel (81 ~ 84!!!) and the high octane fuel (which is really a joke by international standards) is ~5.50 US for 87~90 in octane scale

    Do you mean RON (Research Octane Number) or AKI (Anti-Knock Index)... Because most cars are designed to run on 91 RON. Most performance cars run 95 RON.

    RON is used in most of the world to grade fuel with RON 91 being standard, RON 95 is premium and RON 98 is super (RON 94 and RON 100 are used by some countries). AKI is used in North America.

  • Re:Dear America, (Score:5, Interesting)

    by corychristison ( 951993 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @08:40PM (#42446371)

    Note: that's for 2 months of the year... and it only snows that bad 1-5 times a month.

    Where the fuck do you live? 2 months out of the year? Ha! I wish.

    I live in a city with a population around 35,000 people in Saskatchewan. We get dumped on from mid-october right thru May, spilling into early March.

    My cities mayor and board members have their head up their ass, so snow removal takes days on busy streets and most residential areas get one or two pass-overs a year.

    I have two cars, a small fairly efficient car my wife uses to go to work, and the family car, an AWD Chevy Equinox.

    With good tires and driving with caution, she does well with the small car. Very rarely does she ever need to take the family car to work.

    Our monthly gas buget is around $120. A little over what the insurance costs on my Equunox. Really gas prices are not terible, right now sitting at $1.09/L. I don't know the conversion off hand but roughly in my head that's around $4/US Gallon (if someone cares to do the math they are free to do so).

  • by gestalt_n_pepper ( 991155 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @11:30PM (#42447387)

    Hydrocarbons we've got. Hydrocarbons != net energy. The stuff with thousand to one energy return is long gone. Oil sands have a net energy of about 4:1. just enough to support extraction AND support some additional activity. It's the "AND" that's shrinking as we slide down the net energy cliff. Adding more oil, natural gas or brown coal with lousy net energy doesn't help that, no matter how much we find. Oil is a special case, unfortunately. The world's "just-in-time" supply chain is totally dependent on plentiful, cheap petroleum fuels. Supply chains break in a nonlinear fashion as feedback kicks in. So the recent innumerate popular press happy-talk is all very well and good. If the numbers are real and not political, it may put off the day of reckoning by 40 years, but almost certainly no longer than that.

    And please, please, before you reply, please at least try using google and a calculator.

  • by Cimexus ( 1355033 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @11:36PM (#42447437)

    Yes we here in Australia are cursing the weak US dollar, as it makes our own dollar very strong (has been worth slightly more than the US dollar for a few years now), even though traditionally it's only been worth 70-80 US cents. This really hurts our manufacturing and export sectors, and also, importantly, tourism, which is a huge industry in Australia. Americans now reject the idea of vacationing here because using their weak dollar, the prices seem outrageous here (and I don't blame them). 10 years ago the USD:AUD was more than DOUBLE what it is now. Combined with inflation this means that an American would be paying (in USD terms) almost triple what they would have in 2001 for the same Australian trip (except for airfares, which are presumably bought from an American airline and thus paid in USD).

    OTOH the weak USD/strong AUD has made it very attractive for Australians to visit (and shop in) the US. Apparently Australians are now the one of the most common incoming passenger nationalities into California (impressive considering our small population). For shopping sprees worth over a few thousand, it's cheaper to fly to the US, buy everything, and fly back, than it is to shop locally, because the weak USD makes US prices look ridiculously cheap to us now (a decade ago they were roughly on-par).

    Having said all that - the USD is unique, being the global reserve currency. While I would normally agree with you that "weak currencies ... don't inspire confidence in other countries to keep them", I think the USD is the exception to that rule. Being the reserve currency, there really is no choice but to keep USD. It's still (somehow, amazingly) seen as stable and risk free. Unlike say, when the AUD gets weak (it's strong now and a very popular currency to hold given that cash interest rates here are still 3+%, compared with close to zero elsewhere, but it will be abandoned in a split second as soon as there's a hint of weakness - it's still seen as risky despite our AAA credit rating etc...we just aren't a big or diverse enough economy)

  • Re:Price (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @01:38AM (#42448011) Journal

    It has to do with rule of law.

    Property law varies from place to place. For example nomads don't believe that you can own land, they believe the land owns you.

    Nationalization is a euphemism for stealing.

    I don't personally agree with Hugo but I do believe that ultimately a nations resources belong to it's people, this is why there are eminent domain laws in all modern nations. Nationalization is the same thing, except it targets powerful people who have a heavy influence on entire industries rather than just the plebs who refuse to budge just because some robber-barron needs a railway through their living room to export whatever they are exporting. Regardless of who owns the land, without such laws infrastructure would simply not work, without fair compensation written into those laws I would agree it is akin to "stealing". But who decides what is "fair", amoral executives at Exxon or a vindictive Venezuelan legislature?

  • Re:Nah... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @01:47AM (#42448031) Journal

    Wouldn't mass transit reduce wear and tear on the roads and ultimately reduce costs?

    Actually, no. Damage to roads goes as the fourth power of weight [] (you can find lots of other sources with the same conclusions). A typical city bus weighs around 12000 kg; a typical car weighs around 1600 kg. Thus a bus does around 3100 times more road damage that a car. Assume that the car carries one person, and the bus carries a full load (seated and standing) of 96; you end up with ~33 times more damage per passenger mile in a bus as a single person in that car.

    Weight is what destroys roads, and heavy vehicles really tear it up. A move to more mass transit would not only greatly increase the subsidies required, but seriously accelerate the damage done to the roads.

  • Re:Price (Score:5, Interesting)

    by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @03:25AM (#42448333)

    1976: Venezuela nationalizes its oil industry
    2007: ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips refuse to allow Venezuela's state-run energy company to assume majority control of a few projects
    2007: Venezuela 100% nationalizes ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips' holdings
    2012: ExxonMobil gets a fraction of what they were asking in court and arbitration

    What your Washington Post article (unsurprisingly) leaves out is that everyone else went along with Venezuela's long term plan.
    Exxon tried to play hardball and lost.

    At the risk of sounding like a Libertarian what you're describing isn't cooperating with the government, it's a mob shakedown.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI