OnlineBachelorDegreePrograms.com recently created an interesting infographic that, after breaking down the cost, demonstrated that the underlying reason was global instability and how it affects the price of crude oil which accounts for about 75.5% of the cost of gas in the US. The second biggest cost component was, expectedly, taxes, which account for about 12.25%. A reduction in taxes would help, but even if taxes were chopped in half, you’d still only save $2.44 on a 10-gallon fill-up.
The problem in the US is that Wall Street has changed the formula in the U.S. for pricing gasoline. Until last April, gas prices hinged on the price of U.S. crude oil, set daily in a small town in Cushing, Oklahoma which hosts the largest oil-storage hub in the country. Today, gasoline prices instead track the price of a type of oil found in the North Sea called Brent crude which, today, happens to trade at a premium to U.S. oil by around $20 a barrel. Good for the US oil exporters adding Billions to their bottom lines, but bad for the average U.S. consumer. (Remember, just because a company drills in the U.S. doesn’t mean it has to sell in the U.S. So if you’re a protectionist, maybe you should be fighting for more wildlife preservations. It’s not like you’re going to get cheaper gas anytime soon.) [For more information, see this Fortune article on If the U.S. is now an oil exporter, why $4 gas?]
So, unless OPEC decides to try and regulate prices, or the US produces more oil and passes laws mandating that such oil is kept it on its own soil for domestic use and reduces the cost of acquisition for domestic use (possibly by legislating how oil is to be priced in the U.S.), it looks like gas prices are going to be too damn high for a while.
Click the image below to see the full graphic.
Created by: Online Bachelor Degree Programs