Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Is the Tank Half Full or Half Empty?

Yesterday the younguns and I were in town doing errands and to fill up the Mommobile 2.0.
At our local station the price was 3.75.9 per gallon.
It's been that price for, jeez, like over 6 weeks-Almost as long as we have been hearing the collective hand wringing and breastbeating in the media about gas topping 4 bucks a gallon.

I thought out loud to the younguns on the way home: What makes us so special? What is it about Missouri that allows us to have cheaper fuel than everyone else? Why are we-according once again to the talking heads- the cheapest in the nation? Since I'm not an oil biz insider I couldn't come up with a reasonable explanation.

So this morning I decided to do some research. Now I'll admit Gasbuddy.com may not be the absolute authority, and their intel is suspect, since they rely upon Joe Citizens to report local prices, but I figured they would be a good start to check into this meme about Missouri being the cheapest fuel in the country thing I keep hearing on the news.

Their list on the homepage surprized me.
True, right now Missouri IS the cheapest, according to them. But, interestingly enough if you take a gander at their list by state you'll see that 24 states have fuel somewhere in the area priced BELOW 4 dollars.

That's half the country!!

The top 3 for budget crippling, life inhibiting prices are (no surprize) California, Hawaii, and ironically, Alaska.

What to make of this? I dunno. But the way folks have been carrying on, you'd think that 4 bucks a gallon was universal-the average, the current standard. That EVERYONE was paying that and more.
Now I see it's only half of the nation. There's a vast region of the country's midsection that is just barely staying under that threshold.
True, still at this point 20 cents or so ain't gonna make that big a difference-we were severely cutting back on fuel use when it was 2.60 something. I was just surprized to learn that only half the country is paying over 4 bucks.
Of course, if you live in one of those 4 bucks plus states it's painful.
Any thoughts?

2 Comments:

Blogger Lemuel Calhoon said...

In some places the price is higher because environmental regulations mandate special blends of gasoline. In some remote areas it just costs more to truck the gas into the station (I would wager this is a big part of why the prices are higher in Hawaii and Alaska).

However the single largest reason for state to state price differences is the difference in the per gallon tax.

For example the tax in TN is 11 cents less per gallon than in NC.

6/25/2008 1:53 PM  
Blogger Fish-2 said...

I'm one of those old guys that remembers filling a five gallon gas can and getting change from a dollar. Now I just barely get change from a twenty. Are they building solar powered riding mowers yet?

7/01/2008 4:58 PM  

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