Skip to main content

Energy Tomorrow Blog

The Facts on Gasoline Prices

gasoline prices  crude oil prices  taxes  oil and natural gas production 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted May 22, 2018

Washington is known for partisan political skirmishing, so it’s not surprising that a group of Senate Democrats is trying to score political points against this year’s tax reform legislation by suggesting that lowering the corporate income tax rate has been linked to the recent rise in gasoline prices.

Let’s straighten them out on a couple of important things about gasoline prices, which have nothing to do with tax reform.

First, per-barrel costs for crude oil – the No. 1 factor in the cost of producing gasoline and diesel – have risen due to a tighter global oil supply/demand balance and lower inventories compared to last year. Second, with a strong economy, U.S. petroleum demand has run at its highest levels since 2007 and was up by more than 750,000 barrels per day in April, compared with one year ago. Next, as they do every year around Memorial Day, the start of the summer driving season, Americans are traveling more, which could raise demand further. Finally, although gasoline prices have increased recently, they’re still lower than where they were four years ago, largely because of increased domestic oil production.


More »

Global Energy Market Trends and the Role of U.S. Policies

crude oil prices  global markets  gasoline prices  oil production  access 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted May 10, 2018

The facts that crude oil prices are up 9 percent since the end of March and that crude oil currently accounts for 57 percent of the consumer’s price for gasolinemean that consumers have felt the impact at the pump of relatively large and sudden changes. As domestic crude oil prices recently increased above $70 per barrel for the first time since November 2014, let’s revisit current oil market fundamentals and other factors that have elevated prices. 

By understanding the drivers of prices, American consumers may be more aware of how U.S. policy outcomes – such as more domestic natural gas and oil production, a strong U.S. dollar, low price inflation, avoidance of tariffs, quotas and other protectionist measures that undermine free trade, and peaceful international relations – could help put downward pressure on crude prices that ultimately benefits consumers.

More »

Fuel Costs and the Driving Season

crude oil prices  gasoline prices  supply  consumers 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted April 2, 2018

The summer driving season is arriving, so it’s a good time to take stock of recent market dynamics that have raised per-barrel costs for crude oil and consequently gasoline and diesel fuel.

Nationwide, the American Automobile Association (AAA) reports that average prices currently are $2.64 per gallon for gasoline (up from $2.54 a month ago) and $2.95 per gallon for diesel fuel (unchanged from last month). While there is nothing particularly special about these figures from an economic perspective, consumers take notice when fuel prices are on the rise. Let’s look at the factors that have affected pump prices in recent years.

More »

Hurricane Update: Infrastructure Resiliency Aids Recovery

Jack Gerard  infrastructure  hurricane-harvey  hurricane response  gasoline prices  hurricane-irma 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 8, 2017

With the impacts of Hurricane Irma still to be seen, today’s energy infrastructure network, innovations, technology and knowledge appear to have gained from past big-weather events allow some cautious optimism. That’s the conclusion of a pair of energy experts who briefed reporters during a conference call designed to provide context to the efforts of industry and communities to meet the challenges of a major storm.

More »

Energy, Pump Prices and Consumers

consumers  gasoline prices  oil production  crude oil prices 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 26, 2017

Nationally, the average price of a gallon of gasoline the third week of July was $2.392 – about 42 percent lower than the national average price at the same time in 2008, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Retail gasoline prices haven’t been “sticky,” as Sen. Charles Schumer said on ABC’s “This Week,” suggesting that some sort of anti-Adam Smith force has kept them from decreasing. Yet, as we can see, they have decreased significantly over a time period that coincides with accelerated U.S. crude oil production (thanks, fracking).

More »

Energy Year in Review

consumers  gasoline prices  energy costs  emission reductions  energy exports  access  infrastructure 

Jack Gerard

Jack Gerard
Posted December 28, 2016

Despite occasional policy obstacles, the U.S. energy revolution continues to enhance America’s economic and national security and deliver major benefits to consumers, the environment and manufacturers. With commonsense, market-based, consumer-focused energy policies, the new Congress and incoming administration can maintain and extend our global energy leadership.

More »

Giving Thanks for U.S. Energy

consumers  energy  oil and natural gas  gasoline prices 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 23, 2016

Historically and culturally, Thanksgiving is this country’s calendar cue to be thankful, to be grateful, from household to household. As President Lincoln said in his 1863 proclamation creating the holiday, it’s a day to recognize the “blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.” This year is no different. Americans can give thanks for a number of things. The American Farm Bureau Federation tells us that the average cost of a Turkey Day feast for 10 this year is $49.87, a 24-cent decrease from last year’s average. (Alas, there’s no reported decrease in the remorse a number of us will feel from feasting a bit too much.)

More »

Crude Exports and Consumer Benefits

crude oil exports  gasoline prices  consumers  domestic oil production  eia 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 9, 2016

Looking back, the weight of scholarship and analysis had predicted that, rather than cause higher pump prices here at home as some claimed, exporting domestic crude would put downward pressure on U.S. gasoline prices. In fact, that’s what we’re seeing – abundant crude oil supply benefiting American consumers. U.S. crude exports are part of that market dynamic – while also helping to support domestic production and strengthening America’s balance of trade.

More »

Good Fuels Story, Not-So-Good RFS Reality

renewable fuel standard  rfs34  gasoline prices  epa  economic impacts  e15 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 27, 2016

When you head out for your Memorial Day drive, consider the current price of gasoline – the U.S. average retail price of $2.30 a gallon, which the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says is 47 cents lower than at the same time last year and the lowest average price just before a Memorial Day weekend since 2009. 

Now, let’s all thank the U.S. energy revolution, which is playing a big role in consumer benefits, like those seen at the pump. EIA notes that lower gasoline prices reflect lower crude oil prices. And the global crude market wouldn’t be where it is without higher U.S. crude production. 

More »

A High-Energy Thanksgiving

affordable energy  american energy security  co2 emissions  consumer products  oil and natural gas production  economic benefits  gasoline prices  energy exports 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving is about taking a moment to give thanks for our good fortune. A festival of gratitude with food, family and friends – maybe with a little football thrown in.  So here's a list of some of the things that we’re thankful for this holiday season, from A to Z.

More »