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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
    • 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.
      • Venezuela pays for their own fuel, in order to keep people happy. Everybody in their declining oil industry knows that - and everybody else, as it's pretty obvious. One of the promises of Chavez' government before it's first election was to bring the price to a level where companies would be at least even. After he rose to power, he stopped talking about it, as it would mean the end of his popularity.

    • by NFN_NLN ( 633283 )

      I had to do a dollar/gallon conversion but in Canada we pay north of $4.24/gallon.

      We extract our own oil (Canada) ship it to the US and they ship back gasoline, but you think they would cut us a deal!

    • 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.

  • srsly America. (Score:4, Interesting)

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

    you have cheap fuel. Really. http://imgur.com/r/MapPorn/YIpi5 [imgur.com]

    • 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.

    • Russia and Brazil have FAR higher gas prices than US. I'd call this bollocks.

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

    In real dollars, [sandiego.edu] 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.

    • by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @08:02PM (#42446129)
      It is curious that you are comparing the increase in the price of gas with the increase in the price of things including gas, but labeling one inflation and the other simply a price increase.
      • Inflation rate is the weighted average of price changes in a number of categories. I was just trying to point out that price increases are a natural outcome of inflation. People demand more wages so the price of the product they produce go up. Overall, prices will always go up from year to year it is not news.

      • Looks to me like like core inflation [ycharts.com] (which doesn't include gas) also averaged 2.1% or very near that.
  • However high gas prices are more a result of a weak dollar than any other reason including the war on fossil fuels. Also see the cost of bacon, gold, copper, etc. Even if demand falls if the oilfield production costs go up and the dollar falls in value on a globally traded commodity it really isn't rocket science.

    • The weak US dollar is moving jobs to the US.

      • That is true. I said nothing contrary to that :) weak dollars are actually good in a lot of ways, and but they don't inspire confidence in other countries to keep them.

        • 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)

  • Dear America, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NIK282000 ( 737852 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @07:15PM (#42445719) Homepage Journal

    Stop it.
    There is no sympathy from the rest of the world. Here in Canada "cheap" gas is 4.50USD/Gallon, in Europe its way worse then that, no one wants to hear about it any more. Pick some other non-issue to cry about like how expensive starbucks coffee is or how horrible it is that the millionaire hockey players aren't playing.

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

      by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @07:23PM (#42445803) Homepage

      in Europe its way worse then that

      ... and even despite that, it costs about the same per kilometer to drive in the EU and UK than it does in the US, thanks to their comically inefficient vehicles.

      • Canada has the same problem but compounded. Outside of major cities (and inside some) you can not expect to go anywhere after it snows unless the plow has been by OR you have all wheel drive/4x4 and a high ground clearance. Unfortunately you don't find those features on many high MPG cars and the plows don't hit residential or side streets until some time after noon. You'll also be hard pressed to find a boss in Canada that lets you take snow days ;)

        • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

          bull. I have friends in northern canada that have no problems in a Suburau Outback. Low ground clearance and only AWD.

        • So for the two or three days a year you might not get to work, you buy a huge 4x4 that spends the other 360-odd days of the year being a collossal drain on your resources?

          Yeah, that sounds quite sensible.

        • I drive a VW TDI with low-ground clearance front-wheel drive and 4 studded winter tires. I'm not in Ontario, but I can get around pretty well on unplowed roads here in snowy New England (often better than people with 4wd and all season tires). I admit being higher off the ground would be an advantage (I have a small shovel in the trunk for the rare occasions when I get stuck), but 40+ MPG is an advantage too.

    • Where do you think the money for your "free" healthcare and other social programs comes from?
      • The taxes on our income, liquor and tobacco that are all also higher then the corresponding US tax rates.

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      Drugs. And broadband.

      Oh, and maple syrup. We're sending a raiding party up to capture some.

    • Fuck you, it used to be cheap. We want it back that way. The rest of the world agreed to fund social programs and public transport through high fuel taxes. We did not.

      • by cbope ( 130292 )

        Congrats, you just named the two areas where the US fares very poorly compared to much of the rest of the developed world. Is that something to be proud of?

        Only in the US do you complain about the price of cheap gas and also complain that there is no alternative (public transportation). Most other developed countries figured out long ago that you tax private car use to help pay for public transport. As long as you continue to ignore public transportation, it's not going to improve. Every time I travel to th

  • $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 ls671 ( 1122017 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @07:18PM (#42445743) Homepage

    2012 Set Record For Most Expensive Gas In the World

    would have been more interesting since gas is still relatively cheap in the US.

  • ...in Australia.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      ...in Australia.

      In Australia we pay about US$5.50 to US$6.00 a gallon. A$1.30 per litre (cheap petrol) is about $3.40 for a US gallon.

      The excise on petrol is about A$0.40 per litre and that pays for roads, the US has to pay for roads via taxation. Personally I'd rather have the consumption tax as it punishes the heaviest users (I.E. the bogans in V8 utes that get around 18L/100 KM). Also like everything else, fuel is subject to 10% GST.

  • by G3ckoG33k ( 647276 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @07:41PM (#42445961)

    "the average price for a gallon of gas in the U.S. was higher in 2012 than in any year before it"

    Huh? The average price for just about anything in the U.S. was higher in 2012 than in any year before it...

  • by MikeTheGreat ( 34142 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @08:03PM (#42446135)
    Given that the price of gas keeps going up, isn't every year a record year for gas prices?
  • Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that the price of gas is down by nearly $1.00 a gallon since the election. Duh...which party generally controls gas prices?
    • by Megane ( 129182 )

      You do know that US gas prices always go down in winter, right? There are two main reasons. First, summer fuel blends cost more, second, gas is sold to the stations by the tanker gallon. When it is delivered in the summer, the temperature difference between the tanker and the underground storage tanks causes literal shrinkage. Still, they did start going down a bit early this year.

      And if you're going to correlate gas prices with elections, the national average price was $1.86/gal when Obama was sworn in, a

  • 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.

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