Energy Business

US Gasoline Prices Top $3.90

Driving continues to get more expensive for Americans, who are now paying an average of $3.911/gallon of regular unleaded gas according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report. That’s almost a nickel/gallon more than US drivers paid last week and more than $0.20/gallon above the month-ago price. A year ago the price was lower by more than $0.40/gallon.

A new Gallup poll indicates that Americans worry most about the economy and gas prices (more coverage here), and the result is people spend less on other things. But they have no choice — for most Americans, gasoline is as necessary as food and shelter. We might be able to cut our driving a bit, but most of us can’t quit completely.

Yet, Americans’ driving habits have almost no impact on crude oil prices, which typically account for 60% of the cost of a gallon of gasoline. Americans expect President Obama to do something (our story here), but in reality he has few weapons in his arsenal.

Given the recent trend in gasoline prices, we have less than two weeks til the average price tops $4/gallon. Enjoy them, because they may not return for a while.

Paul Ausick