Gasoline Prices Highest Since 2008

Pumpinggas

National gasoline prices reached an average of $3.14 a gallon this week, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That means gas prices today are 53 cents more per gallon compared with a year ago and the highest prices we’ve seen since October 2008.

Gas prices vary by region (see chart below), with some as high as $3.45 a gallon in California and as low as $2.99 in Texas. So what gives? Mainly it’s because the global economy is running full-speed, again, but oil production isn’t keeping up with demand. Recent turmoil in the Middle East and some short-term logistics constraints also are affecting the traded price of oil.

Gasoline_prices_map

According to USA Today, there’s a bottleneck with crude oil supplies coming out of Oklahoma. This one focal point happens to supply some of the physical oil typically used in selling futures and options of oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange, which is a major player in futures/commodity trading.

The EIA’s own short-term energy outlook suggests we should expect national regular-grade gasoline prices of around $3.15 a gallon for 2011 and $3.30 a gallon in 2012. The EIA points out there is “significant uncertainty” with its modeling predictions. The agency states that there is a 35% chance that national averages may exceed $3.50 a gallon this summer and a 10% chance they will exceed $4 a gallon nationwide. Given the regional nature of gasoline prices, that means, worst-case scenario, some West Coast communities could reach $4.25 average prices within the next few months.

Retail gas prices

By Colin Bird | February 18, 2011 | Comments (15)
Tags: In The News

Comments 

Ted

I thought Obama was going to give us free gas? Where's my Hope & Change!?

Amuro Ray

Hopefully, resurgence of fuel efficient and smaller vehicles too.

Increase in gas prices is what is really needed to get Americans to dump the old way of automotive ownership and driving style, as shown in 2008. Tax incentives can only do so much (yet not too effective, as shown in diminishing hybrid sales since 08 even when the credit was still available).

Jonathan Brown

Thank you for your very interesting article with regards to rising gas prices.

I wonder if the american public will be as reactive to what vehicles they choose to drive as gasoline continues to rise..

Will it be the $3.50 cent a gallon average of 2008 that caused automobile buyers to dramatically shift their buying patterns...? or will be be the $4.25 a gallon that creates dramatic shifts in what americans chose to drive?

Mr. Colin Bird this is yet another great article. Thank you.

Jonathan Brown

cody

if the government really wants to change american auto buying habits, they should just increase fuel taxes and be done with it.

sustained high fuel costs are the only way to make americans 'want' small fuel efficient cars as opposed to large crossover and suv status symbols. it would also pay for some of the infrustructure rehabs that we need, whereas tax breaks/incentives just cost the tax payers money.

of course, this would be politically unpopular, which is why they prefer trying to force auto manufacturers to build cars that the buying public isn't demanding right now.

Dan

Gas prices going up? Shocking!

The prognosis for electric cars just keeps getting better and better.

highdesertcat

Most Americans do not care about the price of gas. It is a choice: either you buy it or you don't. If you have no money to buy the gas, you walk or find another means of transportation. If the price of gas continues to go up, the collateral segments of our economy will be affected. Places like restaurants, coffee bars, fast-food places will see a decreased amount of traffic as more people divert their money to buying fuel. I did not see any reduction in traffic on our roads during the last episode of $4.00+ gas. And there will not be any reduction in traffic this time around either. Americans do not care about the price of gas.

Ste (Original SG)

we have $2.93 here in VA Beach. however, horray for german technology that requires premium fuel, which is around $3.10.

CarGirl

Hi, I’m Bren Hering with the agency that represents Honeywell, the maker of FRAM, Prestone and Autolite. With gas prices on the rise, here are some tips that can help improve fuel efficiency: 1) Keep tires properly inflated and balanced – this can improve fuel economy by up to 3.3 percent. 2) Replace the air filter – a clogged air filter can reduce gas mileage and cause increased emissions; our favorite? FRAM Extra Guard – this filter is proven to provide 2X the engine protection than the average filter on the market. 3) Get a tune-up – a well-maintained engine can improve mileage by up to 4 percent. 4) Of course we’d be remiss if we didn’t recommend topping off all vital fluids – it’s a must for efficiency – and for your antifreeze and coolant nothing protects better than Prestone Extended Life. Check out Prestone.com for full info as well as instructions you can download to your phone or watch online. Happy driving!

clam

Average price in Europe is 8.- $ per gallon. doesn't keep people from driving big and fast. After every spike in a crisis you see less cars going slower for about 10 days. Then the hype is over.
clam

Poly Hill

Interesting to see that most commentaries are clueless. High price won't get people out of big cars. Never has, never will. Safer roads that people can believe in will get them into smaller cars. Government would have to find a policy that removed ALL the trucks from ALL the roads to get people into smaller cars.

I think it is interesting that all of the people "pushing" hybrid cars and electric cars do not realize that the carbon footprint of a Prius is larger than a HumVee because the sum total of emissions released during the manufacture of the Prius far outweigh the emissions produced by the manufacture and use of the humvee. Also, the person who stated that it would be collateral business that would see the effect is correct. The price of food would go up (especially if government were to raise the taxes) and people would cut back on their eating out habits and lattes before they would cut back on driving. BTW the government (federal and state) already makes the most profit per gallon in taxes and yet our roads and bridges cannot be maintained without "additional taxes, bonds, assessments, etc." and so they have no business being in charge of regulating fuel prices.

Dan

Beth,

That rumor (that showed the total carbon footprint of a Hummer being less than a Prius) was debunked long ago.

Please do some research before repeating rumors.

Fix it again

Chevy Volt is going to look like a stroke of genius if the Iran situation gets worse. We might be looking at $4 a gallon gas as the good old days.

Matt

Dan
While Beth may or may not be wrong about the "Carbon footprint" of a Hummer VS. a Prius (NOTE: I don't care)when you run the light in your Prius (busy texting with your mom) and I T-bone you with my F-350 I hope your thinking about the great gas millage your getting when my bumper crushes your skull. :)

Mark

Well Obama came in to almost $4/gallon and brought it down to $1.60 but couldn't keep it going.

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