Posts tagged “fuel exports”
Gasoline prices differ substantially across different parts of the United States. For example, the average price in Illinois is currently 70 cents/gallon higher than that in Wyoming, and California motorists pay 86 cents/gallon more than the folks in Wyoming. Why is that? Source: GasBuddy.com. The biggest single factor is taxes. The tax on a gallon of gasoline in Illinois is 25 cents higher than in Wyoming, while the California tax is 35 cents higher. Source: American Petroleum Institute. But that still leaves 45 cents of the Illinois premium and 51 cents of the California premium unexplained. Political Calculations has created a map of average gasoline prices once you subtract out taxes. (His original map, like that from GasBuddy above, also… Continue»
Today’s column was supposed to be about what has happened with ethanol exports following the expiration of the ethanol tax credit. That is an interesting story (and exactly what I felt would happen once the credit expired), but it will have to wait until next week, because there is a story of much greater public interest. In fact, this current column was originally about President Obama and gasoline prices, but there is a peripheral issue of importance that I thought I would address first. I will get to the gas price discussion in a day or two.
I did two interviews on the subject of Obama and gas prices last week. One was with Brian Beutler at Talking Points Memo (TPM):
The second was with Alan Colmes from Fox News Radio. (A podcast of this is available at the link).
I will summarize the highlights from these interviews in the next column, elaborate on some points (like why I favor both expansion of renewable energy and the Keystone XL pipeline), and explain why President Obama is not to blame for current gasoline prices.
Refinery Closures and the Keystone Pipeline There have been several announcements in recent months of refinery closures that will likely impact gasoline supplies (and prices) on the East Coast. Some of those closures have been on the East Coast. Others — such as the Hovensa refinery in the Virgin Islands and some European refineries — supply product to the East Coast. So why are these refineries closing? Basically, despite the very popular image of perpetually fat profits for the oil companies, the refining business has been historically poor. If a refinery often operates in the low single digit rates of return — or as has frequently been the case, loses money — oil companies will eventually shut them down. Even… Continue»
One of my Top 10 Energy Stories of 2011 was the fact that the U.S. had become a net exporter of finished petroleum products such as diesel and gasoline. In fact, because gasoline and diesel prices were so high, U.S. fuel exports were valued at $88 billion, which made them the top value export in 2011 for the first time ever: Measured in dollars, the nation is on pace this year to ship more gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel than any other single export, according to U.S. Census data going back to 1990. It will also be the first year in more than 60 that America has been a net exporter of these fuels. Just how big of a shift… Continue»