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Record UK Gasoline Prices See Biggest Daily Surge In 17 Years

Record UK Gasoline Prices See Biggest Daily Surge In 17 Years

UK gasoline prices continue to set records, with the daily price jump between Monday and Tuesday at its highest in 17 years, RAC, the UK’s longest-serving motoring organization, says.

“The average price of petrol endured its biggest daily jump in 17 years by going more than 2p (2.23p) a litre on Tuesday (7 June), taking it to nearly 181p a litre (180.73p),” RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said as carried by Auto Express.

Gasoline prices were at a record high of $2.27 (£1.81) per liter, or around $8.60 per U.S. gallon, on Tuesday, according to data from RAC Fuel Watch, which expects prices to continue rising in the near term.

“These are unprecedented times in terms of the accelerating cost of forecourt fuel. Sadly, it seems we are still some way from the peak,” RAC’s Williams said.

A full tank of gasoline for a typical family car has now jumped to $125 (£99.40), up from $120 (£95.16) at the start of last week. The £100 per full tank mark could be reached as soon as on Thursday, analysts say.

“With analysts predicting that oil will average $135 a barrel for the rest of this year drivers need to brace themselves for average fuel prices rocketing to £2 a litre which would mean a fill-up would rise to an unbelievable £110,” RAC said earlier this week.

The new record highs in gasoline prices add to the cost-of-living crisis in the UK where energy bills are set to surge this autumn.

Gasoline prices are soaring in the United States, too. The average gasoline price in America was $4.955 a gallon on June 8, up by a massive $0.30 jump in one week.

Gasoline prices set a new record for the 10th straight day and Americans are now spending over $700 million more per day on gasoline versus a year ago, Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for fuel-savings app GasBuddy, said on Wednesday.

Households Worldwide Wrecked By Soaring Gas Prices 

Households Worldwide Wrecked By Soaring Gas Prices 

Soaring commodity prices have been financially devastating for households, devoting larger and larger shares of disposable income to pay for energy.

For instance, at nine California filling stations, the price of regular gas is higher than the federal minimum wage. Patrick De Haan of GasBuddy said several gas stations in Los Angeles and San Francisco metro areas had recorded pump prices over the federal minimum wage ($7.25). One station in Los Angeles is now $7.83.

Ed Yardeni of Yardeni Research told CBS News that record-high fuel costs are denting workers’ paychecks. He estimated that the typical US household would spend upwards of $4,800 on gasoline this year, a $2,000 increase over last year. That financial burden is piling up for the working poor and households worldwide.

Bloomberg reports Brazilians are spending a whopping 33% of the monthly minimum wage to fill up a 14.5-gallon fuel tank. The figure is 24% in Mexico, 18% in Argentina, 17% in Chile, and 13% in Colombia.

The US isn’t as bad, only 6%, though notice purchasing power of Americans has drastically fallen in the last two years. In April 2020, one hour of work bought over 17 gallows of Regular gasoline at the pump. Today, an hour of work will only buy 7 gallons of gas in America…

High fuel costs are rapidly eating away at Brazilian wages, causing President Jair Bolsonaro’s popularity to sour. The president has supported legislation to lower taxes and fired three chiefs of the state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA because of high fuel costs.

In Europe, natural gas and electricity bills are expected to jump from 3.5% to 4.5% of household disposable income. The share of an energy bill that households have to pay continues to increase as Europe’s transition from Russian fossil fuels is bumpy, filled with shortages and elevated prices. This figure doesn’t even include petrol prices at the pump.

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Has Gasoline Price Shock Triggered Demand Destruction Yet? And Where Will Gasoline Prices Go from Here?

Has Gasoline Price Shock Triggered Demand Destruction Yet? And Where Will Gasoline Prices Go from Here?

There’s some demand destruction. But oil bounced again, gasoline might be next. My guess is a long-drawn-out zigzag higher.

Following the dizzying spike in gasoline prices, the question arises when demand destruction will set in, where people start driving less, start taking it easier to conserve gas when they do drive, or start prioritizing the most economical vehicle in their garage. If enough people do it, demand begins to decline, and gas stations have to compete for dwindling business. Demand destruction is what would cause the price to come down again. Are we there yet?

The Energy Department’s EIA measures consumption of gasoline in terms of barrels supplied to the market by refiners, blenders, etc., and not by retail sales at gas stations. The volume of gasoline supplied has fallen for the third week in a row. This is unusual this time of the year, when gasoline consumption normally rises through the summer.

The EIA reported on Thursday that gasoline consumption fell to 8.61 million barrels per day in the week ended April 8 on the basis of a four-week moving average (red line), the lowest since March 4, down 2.3% from the same period in 2021 (black line) and down 8.1% from the same period in 2019 (gray line).

Consumers began to react in January.

Note how the past 11 months (red line) tracked the pre-Covid period three years earlier very closely (gray line) until they began to diverge sharply, not just in March, but already in mid-January, and have been solidly below the 2019 level ever since.

Gasoline prices started shooting higher from collapsed levels in April 2020. By May 2021, the average price of gasoline, all grades combined, breached $3.00 a gallon, a multi-year high, and kept going…

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Crude Oil WTI Futures Go Bananas, Briefly Spike to $130: And this Is What’s Happening at my Gas Station

Crude Oil WTI Futures Go Bananas, Briefly Spike to $130: And this Is What’s Happening at my Gas Station

Speculators are reacting to other speculators who are reacting to whatever.

Sunday night, crude oil WTI futures, as soon as trading started, spiked to $130.50 a barrel, the highest since July 2008. Maybe it was just one contract someone traded to get it over with and nail that number. But this came after discussions in Washington whether or not the US should ban the imports of Russian crude oil. After the crazy open, the price of WTI futures fell, eventually to $123 a barrel, still the highest since July 2008. And then they started rising again. Currently, WTI trades for around $126, also the highest since July 2008.

The reason the price spiked isn’t because the US is suddenly running out of crude oil or anything, but because traders and algos smelled an opportunity and jumped on it, and drove up the price of those futures, and it’s pure speculation, but that’s what futures trading always is.

The US doesn’t import much Russian crude and could do just fine without Russian crude – and that’s why the import ban is even proposed. And if some buyers in the US actually buy Russian crude, it’s simply another trade, like a gazillion others, but Russian crude is a big part of the gigantic complex global oil trade.

For example, California is cut off from other US producing regions because there’s no pipeline across the Rockies. It produces some of its own crude oil and imports some crude oil from Alaska, and imports crude from the rest of the world. The local refineries, such as those in the Bay Area, buy this imported crude and refine it and export large quantities of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel to Latin America, which is a huge profitable business.

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Gasoline Prices Rise Across US Again, Experts Warn More Pain at Pump Coming

Gasoline Prices Rise Across US Again, Experts Warn More Pain at Pump Coming

The price of gasoline has risen across the United States again as experts warn that more pain could lie ahead at the pumps for Americans.

The average price of a gallon of regular-grade gasoline currently stands at $3.488, an increase of more than 30 percent since the same time last year, when it was $2.505 a gallon, according to data from the American Automobile Association (AAA).

In the last week, the price of regular-grade gasoline has soared nearly 1.4 percent, from $3.441.

According to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 1.6 million barrels to 248.4 million last week.

Meanwhile, demand for gasoline increased from 8.23 million barrels per day to 9.13 million barrels per day, resulting in a disparity between demand and supply.

The rising cost of crude oil, driven by loosening COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions and economies rebounding from the recession, is also putting continued pressure on prices.

And Americans are set to pay even more at the pumps in the future, AAA warned on Feb.10.

“Pump prices will likely continue to follow suit as demand grows and stocks decrease if crude prices continue to climb,” AAA said.

Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) increased by 22 cents to settle at $89.88 at the close of the Feb. 10 formal trading session.

“WTI $94, national average gas price will eclipse $3.50/gal this week,” Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis at Gas Buddy, warned on Feb. 14.

Additionally, EIA reported that total domestic crude stocks decreased by 4.8 million barrels on Feb. 4 to 410.4 million.

“The current stock level is approximately 13 percent lower than at the beginning of February 2021, contributing to pressure on domestic crude prices,” AAA noted.

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In Response To Soaring Gas Prices, Biden Orders FTC To “Immediately” Probe “Illegal Conduct” By Oil & Gas Companies

In Response To Soaring Gas Prices, Biden Orders FTC To “Immediately” Probe “Illegal Conduct” By Oil & Gas Companies

Commenting on perhaps the most absurd moment of the Xi-Biden virtual summit, which as we learned last last night, was the US president begging China to release oil from its strategic petroleum reserve (ostensibly because due to opposition by Democrats in the US such as top House Democrat Steny Hoyer, Biden can’t do that), Rabobank’s Michael Every said that it was “an odd power dynamic when one is a massive energy exporter, and the other a massive energy importer.”

Alas, it does not appear that China will rush to comply with Biden’s demands, and with gasoline soaring and becoming a major political headache for the Democrats ahead of the midterms…

… Biden, or rather his handlers, are now scrambling to come up with ways to push gas prices lower.

We got the latest lightbulb moment from the administration this morning, when moments ago Biden sent a letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan to call attention to “mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil and gas companies” alleging that he won’t accept “hard-working Americans paying more for gas because of anti-competitive or potentially illegal conduct.”

It wasn’t clear what if any evidence was “mounting.”

“I do not accept hard-working Americans paying more for gas because of anti-competitive or otherwise potentially illegal conduct,” Biden said, claiming that “gasoline prices at the pump remain high, even though oil and gas companies’ costs are declining” and ordered asked the FTC to “consider illegal conduct” which is costing families at the pump, urging the FTC to “immediately” use “all tools” to examine price wrongdoing. No “proof” of any wrongdoing was provided either, although we are confident that Igor Danchenko is busy creating a dossier full of “evidence” to buttress Biden’s case.

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California Gas Prices Reach New Record High

California Gas Prices Reach New Record High

The average price of a regular gallon of gasoline in California reached a record high on Monday as sticker shock continues to anger drivers paying more at the pump.

Monday’s average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in California rose to $4.682, according to the American Automobile Association. The price broke the previous record of $4.671 set in October 2012.

Mid-grade unleaded gasoline also rose to an average price of $4.868. Premium unleaded gasoline reached an average of $4.997, with diesel at $4.816.

The jump is most noticeable when compared with gasoline prices one year ago. In California, the average price at the same time in 2020 was just $2.125 per gallon for regular unleaded fuel.

The prices also make California, the most populated state in the nation, the state with the highest average gas prices in the nation, according to the data.

The Automobile Club of Southern California noted the price increases come as millions of people across the state prepare to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“The Auto Club is projecting 4.4 million travelers for the Thanksgiving holiday, with 3.8 million of them driving to their holiday destinations,” Auto Club spokesman Jeffrey Spring said.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday that increased gas prices show the federal government needs to invest more in green energy alternatives.

“Our view is that the rise in gas prices over the long term makes it an even stronger case for doubling down our investment and our focus on clean energy options so that we are not relying on the fluctuations and OPEC and their willingness to put more supply and meet the demands in the market.  That’s our view,” Psaki said.

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Happy Days At The Gas Pump Are Over As Prices Soar 

Happy Days At The Gas Pump Are Over As Prices Soar 

When the virus pandemic first hit early last year, Americans were locked down in their homes as gasoline demand plunged and prices crashed. Last April, the nationwide average for gasoline was around $2. According to AAA, prices are surging nationwide, up 32 cents in the previous month to $2.796 for regular.

On Monday, regular gasoline in Los Angeles County rose for the 27th consecutive day and 47th time in 48 days, increasing to $3.81, the highest since Dec. 3, 2019. Average prices for crude products in the metro area have been on a tear, resulting in a price shock for many consumers who are still battling food and housing insecurities, along with job loss as they wait for the next round of stimulus checks.

Happy times at the pump are over as crude product prices continue to rise. 

GasBuddy analyst Patrick DeHaan told Fox News that one reason for the jump in prices is due to increased demand. Still, more importantly, he said the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) “is not opening the spigot.”

Last week, OPEC leaders maintained production cuts for all countries except Russia and Khazakstan. The news caused West Texas Intermediate and Brent to surge.

OPEC’s decision last week inspired Goldman’s Damien Courvalin to raise his Brent forecast by $5/bbl, to $75/bbl in 2Q and $80/bbl in 3Q21: “This increase in our price forecast reflects stronger time spreads, with our updated inventory path consistent with $5/bbl additional backwardation over the next six months relative to our prior forecast.”

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Iran Burning: Shock Gas Price Hike Triggers Violent Protests After Subsidy Cuts

Iran Burning: Shock Gas Price Hike Triggers Violent Protests After Subsidy Cuts

With protests and unrest raging in multiple hot spots around the globe from Latin America to Hong Kong to Lebanon and Iraq, it could be Iran’s turn to join in. 

Amid a fresh price hike in gasoline — the latest in a string of woes to hit the sanctions ravaged Iranian economy, ultimately making life miserable for the common populace — rare mass protests have broken out in multiple cities

Image source: RFERL/Iranian social meida 

Protests and clashes with police began Friday when petrol prices suddenly rose by at least 50% after government subsidies on it were slashed. Government statements said the plan is to divert the funds in order to make cash payments to low-income households.

In essence Tehran authorities dubiously claim they were forced to “free up money” to assist the poor; however, it appears more drastic scrambling as Tehran struggles to find global purchasers to offload its oil. 

#Iran, Nov 16- Millions of citizens across the country take to streets, closing the roads to protest against tripling gas prices. Video sent form the city of Shiraz. pic.twitter.com/a6FSw9gAEN— Persian Reuters (@PersianReuters) November 16, 2019

And as of Saturday Reuters Persian reports that gas prices have tripled, taking millions of angry middle class demonstrators to the streets across the country.

Early report about middle class and upper class protesting in Tehran Pars is now confirmed. People are on t he streets chanting “down with the dictator” and burning Sina Bank. https://t.co/AUOt9kFtw1 pic.twitter.com/BNB5x0Tils— Raman Ghavami (@Raman_Ghavami) November 16, 2019

The BBC reports that the protests are fierce enough to have already led to at least two deaths and multiple injured as demonstrations are active in at least a dozen cities:

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Protests Erupt As Zimbabwe Now Has The Most Expensive Gasoline In The World

Zimbabwe is once again at the brink of economic collapse, making a mockery of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s claim that the country is open for business.

As Bloomberg reports,  many shops and factories have shut their doors because of a lack of customers and those that continue to trade are open to haggling over prices to secure hard currency. At an appliance shop in the capital, Harare, a salesman whispers that a Whirlpool Corp. washing machine priced at about $5,000 if paid for electronically will sell for $1,500 in cash, while at a nearby electrical warehouse, a $600 invoice is whittled down to $145 for payment in dollar bills.

But, as OilPrice.com’s Tsvetana Paraskova reports, Zimbabwe is on a three-day nationwide strike and protests are erupting in the streets after the government of the southern African country doubled fuel prices, making gasoline sold in Zimbabwe the most expensive gasoline in the world.  

Zimbabwe is in the midst of an economic crisis and a shortage of foreign exchange, which has led to fuel and bread shortages, and many companies have stopped working because they can’t import raw materials.

Following hyperinflation in 2009, Zimbabwe abolished its own currency and has been using the U.S. dollar and South African rand instead.

But the economic crisis and foreign currency shortages has prompted the government to say over the weekend that it would introduce a new currency of its own in the next 12 months.

However, the policy that really sparked protests and calls for a national stay-away was the sharp increase of fuel prices over the weekend.

According to Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa – who succeeded the president of 38 years Robert Mugabe in November 2017 – the doubling of the fuel prices would help ease fuel shortages

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US Traffic Volume Declines For The First Time In 4 Years

Trump’s fears that rising gasoline prices will impact consumer behavior have come true.

The volume of traffic on U.S. highways has stopped growing, alongside gasoline consumption, as rising prices are starting to curb driving behavior, a new analysis by Reuters’ energy analyst John Kemp shows. Traffic volumes in July were 0.3% lower than a year earlier, after seasonal adjustments, the latest Federal Highway Administration data showed.

Traffic growth has been negative in two months so far this year, the first readings sub-zero prints since the start of 2014.  Meanwhile volumes were up by less than 0.3% in the three months from May to July compared with the same period a year earlier, down from annual growth of 2-3% throughout 2015 and 2016.

It will come as no surprise that there has been a correlation between traffic volumes and the cyclical rise and fall in oil and gasoline prices since at least the early 1990s. While traffic volume dropped in 2013 and again in mid-2014, the sharp decline in oil prices between the middle of 2014 and early 2016 provided a tremendous boost to vehicle use.

But as oil prices have recovered over the last 30 months, that stimulus has faded and traffic growth has once again slowed to a crawl, and in fact turned negative. The reason: the average cost of gasoline purchased by U.S. motorists surged by more than 55% between February 2016 and September 2018.

Separate data on gasoline consumption showed a similar plateau as higher prices encourage motorists to limit fuel use. Gasoline consumption rose by just 18,000 barrels per day in the first half of 2018 compared with the same period a year earlier, despite strong economic growth and substantial job creation.

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Trump’s Ultimate Move To Lower Gasoline Prices

Trump’s Ultimate Move To Lower Gasoline Prices


President Trump is reportedly considering tapping the strategic petroleum reserve to lower gasoline prices in an effort to neuter a political threat ahead of key midterm elections in November.

Sources told Bloomberg that options are under consideration by the Trump administration, ranging from a minor 5-million-barrel test sale, a symbolic amount, to a more sizable release of 30 million barrels. A more aggressive option could entail a larger release, combined with coordinated stockpile releases from other countries. No decisions have been made.

“An SPR release would have a psychological impact on the market. It may not translate into lower gasoline prices, but it would immediately bring down crude prices, at least temporarily, until the market adjusts,” Joe McMonigle, senior energy analyst at Hedgeye Risk Management LLC, told Bloomberg.

“It’s unclear whether the U.S. will actually use the emergency inventories, but we can at least tell that they feel a lot of pressure from crude trading above $70,” Ahn Yea Ha, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co., said in a Bloomberg interview.

National gasoline prices are hovering just below $3 per gallon, the highest price in more than three years. However, the rally in crude oil prices has stalled and reversed over the past week, with Libya in the process of restoring the 800,000 bpd that had been disrupted. News of Libyan oil trickling back online led to a sharp selloff in crude prices last week.

Monday saw another steep decline in prices, and WTI is back below $70 per barrel. Saudi Arabia said that it would expand its production, offering more volumes to Asian buyers. Russia’s energy minister also said that the OPEC+ coalition could add more than the 1 million barrels per day that they agreed to in June, if needed.

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Can Trump Counter Soaring Gasoline Prices?

Can Trump Counter Soaring Gasoline Prices?

Ethanol plant

Oil prices surged to their highest level in more than three years on Thursday, as the number and volume of supply outages continues to rise. The odds of a significant shortfall in supply are also growing by the day. With U.S. midterm elections nearing, the more oil prices continue to rise, the more likely it is that President Trump decides to tap the strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) to tamp down oil prices just ahead of the November vote.

The 180-degree turnaround in the oil market from May is pretty staggering, even for an oil market steeped in volatility and uncertainty. In late May, rumors of higher output from Saudi Arabia and Russia led to a crash in prices, and led to speculation of another lengthy downturn. By late June, however, it isn’t clear that even a massive 1-million-barrel-per-day increase from OPEC+ will be enough to fill the worsening supply gap.

That means higher oil prices are likely. WTI has spiked by about $8 per barrel since last week, and continues to climb higher. “We are in a very attractive oil price environment and our house view is that oil will hit $90 by the end of the second quarter of next year,” Hootan Yazhari, head of frontier markets equity research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said. “We are moving into an environment where supply disruptions are visible all over the world… and of course President Trump has been pretty active in trying to isolate Iran and getting U.S. allies not to purchase oil from Iran,” he added.

As has been widely reported, the Trump administration has aggressively pressed Saudi Arabia to boost output to offset declines from Iran. Saudi Arabia has complied, promising to ramp up output to about 11 mb/d in July, up from less than 10 mb/d in May. It’s an astounding increase, both in terms of volume and the speed of the increase.

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Who’s To Blame For High Gasoline Prices?

Who’s To Blame For High Gasoline Prices?

Fuel Pump

As retail gasoline prices rise to $3 per gallon across the United States, gas prices are a hot political topic in Washington once again, with the Democrats hoping to slam Donald Trump for causing pain at the pump and Republicans trying to shift blame back on their opponents.

High gasoline prices have long presented dangers for politicians, particularly for those in power when prices rise. The debates often make for great political theater, although they typically fall far short on the substance.

The spike in crude oil prices in 2008, during the heat of the presidential election, popularized the “drill, baby, drill” slogan and also led to calls from both Senators John McCain and Hillary Clinton for a “gas tax holiday” – a temporary suspension in federal gas taxes.

During the Arab Spring in 2011, and the outage of oil supply in Libya, prices spiked again. Republicans blamed former President Obama for high prices, charging that his refusal to allow more drilling caused prices to rise. His release of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve also came under criticism. Years later, when prices crashed because of the oil market downturn, Obama took credit for low gasoline prices.

We haven’t heard much about gas prices since 2014, but with WTI over $70 and gasoline back to $3 per gallon, suddenly it is a hot topic again.

The Democrats held a press conference on Wednesday in front of an ExxonMobil gas station in Washington to blast the Trump administration for high gasoline prices. “It’s time for this president to stand up to OPEC,” Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said. That was accompanied by a letter by several top Democratic Senators asking Trump to “pressure” OPEC to “increase world oil supplies in order to lower prices at the pump during the upcoming summer driving season.” They noted that the run up in gas prices could cancel out the benefits of the tax cuts from last year.

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Why Lower Gasoline Prices Are Not Stimulating Economy

Why Lower Gasoline Prices Are Not Stimulating Economy

Chart In Focus

Fed officials and financial news reporters are collectively wondering why the economy seems to be slowing down, even though lower oil and gasoline prices ought to be a stimulative factor.  If consumers are spending less of their money on gasoline, then they ought to have more to spend on other stuff, or so goes the reasoning.  So why is it not working?

The problem is one of magnitude, and most analysts fail to take the time to do the math.  So at the risk of boring you with arithmetic, let’s look at some important numbers, with a bit of back-of-the-envelope math.

The EIA publishes data on consumption for a variety of energy products, including gasoline.  In November 2015 for example (the most recent month for which there are data), Americans consumed gasoline at a rate of 358 million gallons per day.  The 12-month average is 360 million gallons.  That sounds like a really large number, but when you realize that there are roughly 322 million resident Americans, that works out to 1.11 gallons per day for every American.

The chart above shows the trend for that data.  The high prices of just a couple of years ago sent people into dealerships to buy Priuses, Volts, Teslas, and other electrified cars to avoid paying high gasoline prices.  But the falling prices for automobile fuel are making consumers eschew those more efficient choices, and consume more gasoline.  They are also consuming more diesel, which is not part of these computations, but it is nevertheless a real factor.

Looking at the math, if the price of gasoline drops from $3.00 to $2.00 (round numbers to make the math easier), that means an extra $1.11 in your pocket every day, assuming you are the average man, woman, and child in America.

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