Gas Prices On The Rise Despite Reduced Gas Consumption

Americans are driving less and more efficiently, resulting in reduced gas consumption - yet prices are rising. What gives? For a nation that relies on oil imports despite surging drilling, the answer is unusual.
November 14, 2011, 5am PST | Irvin Dawid
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If you believe what the LA Times' business writer reports, gas prices are headed for an all-time high, reaching $4.50/gallon in CA by Easter. In these three articles from Oct. 18 to Nov. 12, Ronald White explains the paradox.

"U.S. exports of refined fuels, particularly diesel, have surged to fresh all-time highs, helping to keep the prices of gasoline and diesel in this country at record levels for this time of year."

From "Gas prices might be headed to record highs in 2012, analysts say": "The primary reason for the stubbornly high prices is growing demand in Latin and South America, which is driving record U.S. exports of fuel to those parts of the world, particularly in the form of diesel. U.S. refiners are also making more diesel at the expense of gasoline production, said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service."

"Demand for gasoline is down in the U.S. by 4% compared to last year, but global demand has more than made up for that," Kloza said. "If you want to blame someone for the high prices, blame South America."

Finally, in his Oct. 18th article, White notes the price-turnaround: "The increase comes after five straight weeks of declines at the pump."

"Highlighting what I've reiterated for weeks, we're seeing gasoline prices continue their volatile trend, and this time that trend is upward," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for, where members report the lowest and highest prices they see."

Thanks to The Transit Coalition

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Published on Saturday, November 12, 2011 in Los Angeles Times - Business
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