Gasoline Prices Follow Consumption Downwards, Diesel Consumption Up
Californians consumed 3.68 billion gallons of gasoline in the second quarter. The good news for them is they paid less for it than a year ago. Prices are falling across the nation, in line with consumption, a good indicator that the economy is still not doing well.
The California Board of Equalization says the state's gasoline consumption declined by just 0.2 percent, at the same time as diesel consumption increased 1.6 percent in 2013 Q2. These numbers come from fuel tax data released by George Runner, Second District Member of the California State Board of Equalization.
According to the Energy Information Administration, the national average price of gasoline during the second quarter was $3.67, $4.04 per gallon in California, 33 cents higher.
The state's diesel fuel consumption increased by 1.6 percent in the same period, to 687 million gallons, at an average price of $4.07 per gallon, against the nationwide average of $3.88, a difference of 19 cents.
California pulled in $450 million in sales taxes and $1.326 billion in excise taxes from that gasoline consumption and $251 million in sales taxes and $79 million in excise tax from diesel.
California gasoline consumption comparisons from each prior year, 2007 to 2013
Chart: California BOE
George Runner says reports based on fuel tax receipts paid by distributors in California are available at the Board of Equalization website.
William Cullifer, executive director of the Energy Education Foundation said "Californians may be realizing that using so much fossil fuels is not good for us, and they are taking less trips, saving themselves money and reducing consumption." Cullifer created the website, curbtheoilhabit.org, to help people understand why curbing the oil habit is important, laying out the benefits, the resources available and why you or someone you know should Curb the Oil Habit.
According to Patrick DeHaan, Senior Petroleum Analyst at GasBuddy, as of October 15, US average gas prices were lower this year than the same days last year, for a run of 70 consecutive days. August 6 was the last time we saw a price higher than last year on the same date.
With the economy not doing well, at least there is good news for the average Joe, with prices going down across the nation. DeHaan says less than 1% of the country is now over $4.00 per gallon, and last year at this time, the figure was 15%.
Although prices are down everywhere, think of your friends in Hawaii, where 95.1% of gas stations have prices over $4.00, and 1% are over $4.50 per gallon. 1% of stations there average the highest price at $5.112 gal.
Gregg Laskoski, another GasBuddy Senior Petroleum Analyst, says Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, have the most common price under $3.00 gallon - at $2.999. Oklahomans have something extra to smile about, with some stations retailing at $2.87 per gallon, 24% of them under $3.00 gal.
Alan Gray is the publisher of NewsBlaze, the independent online newspaper for thinking people. Read more stories by Alan Gray.
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