Gasoline Prices Are Higher Than $3 a Gallon in All 50 States

Wednesday, 05 Feb 2014 07:17 AM

By Kristin Caliendo

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Consumers in all 50 states are now faced with pain at the pump, as the price for a gallon of regular gas exceeds $3.

Sticker shock is due in part to increasing oil prices, and those states even near refineries and large oil fields are feeling the pinch as well, according to 24/7 Wall St.

Residents in New York, California and six other states account for 20 percent of the U.S. population and are accustomed to paying more than $3.50 a gallon, according to research from GasBuddy.com.

Editor’s Note:
38 Trades That Could Turn $1,000 Into $49,000

Typical oil-rich states and those near the Gulf of Mexico reaped the benefits of gas prices below $3 in previous months; however, 13 states, including Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, are now paying in the ballpark of $3 to $3.10 a gallon.

Northern plain states such as South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana aren't being spared any agony, even taking into account their close proximity to shale deposits.

Oil is the basis for gasoline price direction, even if the relationship can be distorted by refinery capacity and efficiency. In early 2014 there was a very sharp drop in oil prices, but then a marked increase to over $97 a barrel.

Tensions in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa combined with frigid weather conditions in the United States and northern Europe have sparked the high demand for oil.

If production capacity does not rise, it is likely that oil prices will stay where they are or increase considerably, 24/7 Wall St. noted.

Earlier this month, the International Energy Agency reported that the U.S. ban on exporting crude oil could stall further growth in oil production, according to the National Journal.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing to discuss the ban last week. Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said, "The litmus test is how middle-class families will be affected."

Energy expert Amy Myers Jaffe stated that what consumers pay is determined by where they live and the gasoline-price disparity, what she calls the “tyranny of geography.”

"We need to consider how to avoid creating market distortions," Jaffe said at the hearing. "Whether they temporarily benefit some consumers in a particular region or industry, we want to make sure that we are doing things that are more helpful."

If Washington does lift the ban, Graeme Burnett, senior vice president for fuel optimization at Delta Airlines, said only oil companies would reap the rewards. "It's equally apparent who would lose: the American consumer, who would pay more for gasoline, more for heating oil, and more for the price of an airline ticket.”

Editor’s Note: 38 Trades That Could Turn $1,000 Into $49,000

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