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Energy Tomorrow Blog

We Need More U.S. Oil, Not an Import-More-Oil Strategy

president  opec  crude oil production  gasoline prices  consumers 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 11, 2021

The White House has big problems with its continued calls for more crude oil production from OPEC – even as it is discouraging U.S. production.

Rising domestic gasoline prices are a political problem for President Biden. … The administration’s political dilemma is that since April 2020, when EIA reported the per-gallon cost of gasoline was $1.938, prices rose to $3.231 last month. The safe assumption is that most Americans have noticed the 66.7% increase at the pump.

The White House response last month was to plead with OPEC to produce more crude oil – and that’s because the cost of crude oil is the No. 1 factor in the retail cost of gasoline. More supply means more downward pressure on crude costs and retail prices.

On Wednesday, President Biden doubled down on the approach, saying the administration wants OPEC to reverse production cuts made during the pandemic to lower prices for consumers. … Therein lies a big energy policy problem.

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Q&A: The Demand/Supply Dilemma, Consumer Impacts and the Need for Sound Policy

demand  supply  us energy security  production  consumers  gasoline prices 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 1, 2021

In recent weeks API Chief Economist Dean Foreman has noted the return of petroleum demand, as economies strengthen in the U.S. and globally, to a level that’s outpacing supply (see here). In the Q&A that follows, Dr. Foreman discusses the impacts of the supply-demand mismatch on American consumers and markets, as well as the consequences of the Biden administration’s energy policy signals.

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Summer Driving Season – Questions and Answers

gasoline prices  us energy security  oil production  consumers 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 27, 2021

As Americans flock to the roads this Memorial Day weekend, let’s consider the key factors that impact fuel costs, what it means for U.S. consumers and the best paths to ensure affordable, reliable energy going forward. Four questions and answers: Where are fuel prices today, what's driving fuel prices higher, what can be done to help U.S. consumers, and is the U.S. on the right energy policy course?

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GAO Report – Another Reason to Sunset the RFS

ethanol  renewable fuel standard  consumers  gasoline prices  emission reductions 

Jessica  Lutz

Jessica Lutz
Posted June 11, 2019

We’ve warned before (see here, here and here) that the broken Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its mandates for ever-increasing ethanol use put consumers at risk. And that the administration’s recent decision to allow summer sales of E15 fuel – a blend containing 50 percent more ethanol than the E10 gasoline that’s widespread across the country – is an ineffective approach to addressing concerns with the RFS that will only serve to make things worse. Now, we can add another report to the long list of evidence that the RFS needs to be sunset – this time coming from the non-partisan U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The GAO recently reviewed the effects of the RFS and found that requiring the use of corn-based ethanol and biodiesel in gasoline supplies hasn’t lowered pump prices or significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions – two of the main goals of the flawed RFS program. In fact, the review finds that gas prices outside of the corn-rich Midwest likely increased because of the program. To make matters worse, the review also found that there has been little, if any, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions – a main selling point used by proponents to justify the program. 

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Summer Driving and Gasoline Prices

consumers  gasoline prices  fuels  gasoline taxes 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted May 1, 2019

With summer driving season almost here, nationwide average gasoline prices were $2.88 per gallon as of April 30, according to the American Automobile Association, identical to what they were one year ago when adjusted for price inflation. This good news for consumers is due, at least in part, to record-breaking domestic oil production, which has put downward pressure on global prices for crude oil, the main factor in determining prices as the fuel pump.

While the current price may be the same when you pull up to pump, some notable things have changed behind the scenes.


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More on Variations in State Gasoline Prices

gasoline prices  taxes  regulation  consumers 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted July 6, 2018

Earlier this week we looked at the summer variation in gasoline prices, due mainly to increased driving as well as fuel specifications that have added to the cost of gasoline. As the 2018 summer driving season approaches its midpoint, let’s check the data on gasoline prices and, separately, take a deeper look at why prices in any one state have tended to be higher (or lower) than the national average.

According to the American Automobile Association, the nationwide average price for regular gasoline was $2.85 per gallon on June 28, a decrease of 12 cents per gallon since May 28. 

Remember, gasoline and diesel fuel prices tend to track the price of crude oil, because crude oil currently makes up more than half of the cost to make the fuels. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that crude oil made up 56 percent of the price of gasoline in May, the agency’s most recent analysis.


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Taxes and Regulations Impact Pump Prices

gasoline prices  regulation  taxes  refineries 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 2, 2018

In previous posts (see here and here), we’ve discussed factors that have affected gasoline prices in the past. The cost of crude oil is chief among them, accounting for more than 50 percent of the fuel price. Some other factors are seasonal, and taxes imposed on each gallon of gasoline vary from state to state.  


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Why the U.S. Must Import and Export Oil

crude oil exports  refineries  gasoline prices  energy policy 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted June 14, 2018

With Wall Street Journal headlines such as “Trans-Atlantic Oil-Price Spread Soars as Supply Glut Disappears,” it might be hard to remember that the United States’ domestic oil production stood at a record 10.5 million barrels per day (mb/d) in April, and the nation’s petroleum trade balance is in its best position in 50 years. This has reinforced U.S. energy security, lowered the trade deficit and boosted economic growth.

That said, given our country’s much improved energy outlook, some may question why we’re still importing crude oil and refined products. And, while we’re still importing oil, why do we export domestic crude – especially when prices have risen at the pump?  Why don’t we just keep American oil at home? ... 

Answers are found in an understanding of basic market realities.

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The economic—and environmental—case for natural gas

gasoline prices  crude oil  gasoline blends  gasoline taxes  consumers 

Jessica  Lutz

Jessica Lutz
Posted May 31, 2018

In a recently released report, the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development digs into the factors that have made the U.S. energy dominance possible, and – specifically – the role of natural gas in energy dominance. 

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Gasoline Prices and Perspective

gasoline prices  crude oil  gasoline blends  gasoline taxes  consumers 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 24, 2018

Let’s add some needed perspective in the ongoing discussion of U.S. gasoline prices – even as Washington politicians try to exploit them for their own agendas. The latest political play: Senate Democrats want the president to cajole other nations into producing more oil to increase supply in hopes of moderating things at the pump.

Certainly, increasing global crude supply is important, because in the past doing so has put downward pressure on the cost of crude, the No. 1 factor driving gasoline prices.

But, since we’ve seen how much lower and less volatile prices have been the past four years, thanks to the growth of U.S. oil production, wouldn’t it be smarter to encourage greater oil production here at home? Senate Energy Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski

thinks so.

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