The actual price of fuel paid at the pump for American consumers is actually hidden. As all US taxpayers (if they drive or not) continue to pay additional funds in the way of multiple subsidies to oil companies. To make a more true comparison with other countries these hidden costs would have to be added, which should include a percentage of the cost of maintaining the US military in the Middle East to help ensure the safe flow of oil to the USA.
Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update:
According to the US Energy Information Administration (www.eia.doe.gov) of April 25th 2011 the retail price of $3.87 a gallon of Regular Gasoline is comprised of the following cost percentage breakdown: 68% Crude Oil, 13% Refining, 7% Distribution & Marketing and 12% taxes. A gallon of Diesel fuel has similar numbers as of March 2011 the retail price of a 4.09 gallon: 62% Crude Oil, 15% Refining, 11% Distribution & Marketing and 12% taxes.
By comparing unleaded fuel prices in the USA to Unleaded EU prices, to the Unleaded price in Asia and/or just all of Europe or Australia etc might help give a clearer indication of the real cost of fuel worldwide. Seeing these price differences might even get some asking the question why the US government uses such a different pricing structure and methods to perhaps hide the real world cost of oil from citizens?
One could suggest that this is to give the appearance to the US citizens that they are getting a good or better deal than the rest of the planet when it comes to petrol prices and thus would more supportive of their elected officials. However, since oil is a commodity and every country pays the same price on the open market that means that for a practical purposes the US government is keeping the price of fuel artificially low at the pump. This practice keeps the population driving and consuming oil in vast quantities via their oversized high profit margin SUVs and more resistive to alternative fuel vehicles or using public transport much to the delight and profit of the big oil & automotive companies. Shame on their politicians for not having the political will to not cater to the whims of big business lobbyists.
Gasoline Prices Compared by Country
Prices USD per gallon of Regular Unleaded (as of May 1st 2011)
Czech Rep 8.21
Hong Kong 7.27
EV of the Year Judge at EV.com, independent green journalist, photographer, author and sustainability activist that has published over 1000 articles. Mr Burridge’s travels have taken him to over 30 countries and 300+ major cities. He is originally from the USA, but has been residing in Australia for the last seven years. Connect to Ken Burridge on: Twitter, facebook, Google+, Linked in or website