Posts Tagged ‘CARFAX Vehicle History Report’

Michael Green

(WASHINGTON, November 15, 2013) “The EPA’s proposal to decrease ethanol requirements will help drivers by preventing a surge in gas prices or the premature expansion of E15 gasoline sales. While we would like to increase the use of alternative fuels, it is a plain fact that the Renewable Fuels Standard’s original targets are unreachable without putting motorists and their vehicles at risk.

“The EPA has finally put consumers first. Their proposal will support the continued development of alternative fuels, while also recognizing the needs of the millions of people that drive every day. Today’s proposal is an important step in the right direction, but it does not go far enough. Suggesting a range for 2014 targets does not guarantee that motorists will be protected from the risk of higher ethanol blends. We encourage the EPA to act quickly to finalize specific targets that help protect drivers nationwide.

“The vast majority of cars on the roads today are not designed to run on gasoline containing more than 10 percent ethanol. While ethanol has the potential to support the economy and reduce the reliance on fossil fuels, it is irresponsible to mandate more ethanol than cars can safely use.”

More than 90 percent of the vehicles on the road today are not approved by manufacturers to use E15, including most 2001-2013 models. E15 is only approved for use by automakers in flex-fuel engines, 2001 and newer Porsches, and selected 2012 and newer vehicles where it is clearly specified in the owner’s manual. While new models increasingly can use E15 gasoline, previous makes and models were never designed to use the fuel. It will still take at least another decade before the bulk of the fleet will be E15 compatible given that the average vehicle remains in use for more than 11 years.

 

Michael Green Contact TileBob Darbelnet Will Testify Regarding E15 Gasoline to Congressional Subcommittee

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 23, 2013) – AAA President & CEO Bob Darbelnet will testify today to a Congressional subcommittee that the EPA should consider whether target volumes to the Renewable Fuels Standard can be met without putting consumers at risk.

“I would urge Congress to keep American consumers front of mind when reviewing the RFS requirements for 2014,” continued Darbelnet.  “If the only way to meet the RFS requirement is to introduce E15 gasoline before consumers are educated and consensus is reached on which vehicles can safely use the fuel, then the RFS should be modified.”

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power is conducting the hearing to examine the Renewable Fuels Standard, a program created under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to establish a renewable fuel volume mandate. AAA has urged regulators and the industry to stop the sale of E15 gasoline until motorists are better protected due to the strong likelihood of consumer confusion and the potential for voided warranties and vehicle damage.

“The number of states where E15 is sold has doubled in recent months despite continuing evidence that drivers are not aware of the fuel and could be unknowingly putting their cars in jeopardy,” continued Darbelnet. “AAA is not opposed to either ethanol or the RFS, but we remain very concerned with the way that E15 has been brought to market and is being sold to consumers.”

The subcommittee hearing is scheduled for July 23 at 10:00 AM in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building.

AAA believes that ethanol-blended fuels have the potential to provide motorists a clear choice at the pump that supports jobs, promotes energy independence and reduces fuel costs.  Both E10 and E85 provide options for consumers at this point, and AAA would support a motorists’ right to choose E15 once basic thresholds have been met regarding consumer protections. More than 95 percent of the gasoline sold in the United States is E10, which contains up to 10 percent ethanol. E85, which contains up to 85 percent ethanol, is designed for use by flex-fuel vehicles.

A AAA survey last fall found that only 12 million out of the 240 million light-duty vehicles on the roads were approved by manufacturers to use E15. Thirteen manufacturers stated that the use of E15 may void warranty coverage. AAA’s automotive engineering experts believe that sustained use of E15 could result in costly problems such as accelerated engine wear and failure, fuel-system damage and false “check engine” lights in some cars. An overwhelming 95 percent of consumers surveyed by AAA were not familiar with E15, indicating a strong likelihood of consumer confusion leading to misfueling.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, July 16, 2013) AAA’s Chris Plaushin (director, federal relations) is testifying before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today during a hearing “to explore the effects of ongoing changes in domestic oil production, refining and distribution on U.S. gasoline and fuel prices.” Chris Plaushin’s testimony is available here.

Michael Green Contact Tile

(WASHINGTON, July 2, 2013)

Gas Prices Drop to Five-Month Lows as Independence Day Travel Begins

  • The national average price of gas has dropped to $3.48 per gallon, which is the lowest average price since February 1. Average prices have dropped across the country as a projected 34.4 million Americans hit the roads for the Independence Day holiday.
  • “Rising gasoline supplies have pushed average prices nationally below the psychologically important level of $3.50 per gallon just in time for one of the busiest travel periods of the year,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “While such relatively small savings are probably not worth celebrating, millions of Americans will be relieved to save a little extra money as they travel for Independence Day.”
  • Gas prices nationally dropped an average of 12 cents (3.3 percent) per gallon in June, marking the third year in a row that prices have fallen to begin the summer driving season. Despite the decrease, prices dropped less dramatically than in previous years. In comparison, gas prices declined 28 cents (7.8 percent) per gallon in June 2012 and 24 cents per gallon (6.3 percent) in June 2011.
  • The national average price of gas has dropped for 20 consecutive days, which is the longest streak since December. Average gas prices have dropped 35 of 41 days since May 22.
  • Gas prices through the first half of the year averaged $3.57 per gallon, which is the second-highest average on record for the period. This compares to last year when the average was the highest on record at $3.64 per gallon through the first six months.
  • Gasoline supplies are reported to be at the highest levels in more than two decades for this time of year, while demand remains relatively weak. These fundamentals have helped push gas prices downwards despite the relatively high cost of crude oil, which makes gasoline more expensive to produce.
  • Tight supplies caused by significant refinery maintenance in May and early June helped propel gas prices in parts of the Midwest to more than $4 per gallon. Production has since increased resulting in significantly lower prices across the region. Month-over-month, the average price of gas per gallon has dropped 63 cents in Michigan, 53 cents in Indiana, 51 cents in Ohio, 43 cents in Wisconsin and 41 cents in North Dakota.

Fourth of July Gas Prices to be Third Highest on Record for the Holiday

  • Motorists this Independence Day likely will pay the third highest average gas prices on record for the holiday despite recent declines. The highest national average for the holiday was $4.10 per gallon in 2008, followed by $3.57 per gallon in 2011 and $3.34 per gallon in 2012.
  • AAA projects that 40.8 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home during the Independence Day holiday period, which is a 0.8 percent decrease from the 41.1 million people who travelled last year. Eighty-four percent (34.4 million) will travel by automobile, a decrease of 0.7 percent from 34.7 million last year. The largest share of travelers (32 percent) will depart on Wednesday, July 3, while the most popular day to return (38 percent) will be on Sunday, July 7.
  • “Gas prices remain high and may not drop too much further in July because crude oil remains relatively expensive,” continued Ash. “Factors such as increased summertime demand and the impending hurricane season also could result in higher pump prices for motorists.”
  • Gas prices over the previous two years bottomed for the summer in late June/early July, which could happen again this year if seasonal trends continue. Gas prices reached a summertime low of $3.33 per gallon on July 2, 2012 and $3.54 per gallon on June 30, 2011. The national average price of gas increased 16 cents per gallon (5.1 percent) in July 2012 and 17 cents per gallon (4.4 percent) in July 2011.
  • The highest national average so far this year was $3.79 per gallon on Feb. 27. Average gas prices may have peaked for the year in February, but there is still potential for prices to spike later in the year, especially if hurricanes or other issues disrupt refinery production.

No State in Continental U.S. Paying More than $4.00 Per Gallon for Gas

  • The only states paying an average of more than $4.00 per gallon for gasoline include Hawaii ($4.32) and Alaska ($4.04). Six additional states paid more than $4 per gallon on average at least one day during June including California, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, North Dakota and Wisconsin.
  • The five states with the highest averages today include: Hawaii ($4.33), Alaska ($4.04), California ($3.99), Washington ($3.79) and Idaho ($3.77). The five states with the lowest averages today include: South Carolina ($3.17), Alabama ($3.23), Mississippi ($3.26), Tennessee ($3.26) and Missouri ($3.27).

Learn how to save money on gas with a few simple tips from AAA

AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com. Every day up to 120,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline. For more information, contact Michael Green at 202-942-2082, mgreen@national.aaa.com

Michael Green Contact Tile

 

(WASHINGTON, July 1, 2013) Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.49 per gallon. This is eight cents less expensive than one week ago and 12 cents less than one month ago, but it remains 16 cents higher than the same day last year. The national average has now declined for 19 straight days and 34 of the last 40.

Top Ten Highest Average Gas Prices 7-1-13Regional supply disruptions in May and early-June propelled gas prices sharply higher in some parts of the country – first the Northwest and then the Midwest – even as retail prices in the rest of the country drifted lower. As these production and distribution issues were resolved, prices for states in the impacted regions have plummeted back to earth.

Gas prices across the country are finally moving lower in lockstep, leading up to the Fourth of July, which is welcome news for the 34.4 million travelers that AAA expects to travel by automobile this holiday period. Prices in every state and Washington D.C. have dropped over t
he last week, led by substantial declines in a number of Midwestern states, including declines of more than 15 cents per gallon in Ind. (-23 cents), Ohio (-20 cents), Mich. (-20 cents), Ill. (-17 cents), N.D. (-16 cents) and Wisc. (-16 cents). The month-over-month declines in the greater Midwest have been even more substantial with prices in 12 states falling by 30 cents or more.

 

Top10 Weekly Declines-7-1-13

In both 2011 and 2012 the national average reached a summer-low near today’s date. In 2011 prices bottomed at $3.54 per gallon on June 30. In 2012 they bottomed at $3.33 on July 2. The national average may continue to drift lower in the coming days, especially as prices in the Midwest and Great Lakes retreat from near-historic highs, however crude oil prices remain substantially higher than last year and are likely to limit the amount further that the national price will fall. Barring a decline in crude oil prices, gas prices may turn higher in July as the summer driving season ramps up, demand for gasoline increases and the hurricane season continues. The national average rose 17 cents per gallon in July 2011 and 16 cents in July 2012.

The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) has pulled back slightly from the multi-month high of $98.44 per barrel on June 18, however it remains more than ten dollars above the price a year ago. WTI settled at $83.75 per barrel to begin July last year. At today’s close of formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled up $1.43 at $97.99 per barrel.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, June 24, 2013) Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.57 per gallon. This is four cents less expensive than one week ago and seven cents less than one month ago, but it is still 15 cents higher than the same day last year. The national average has now declined for 12 straight days.

2000GDLmap

Motorists in 14 states and Washington D.C. are paying more for gas than a week ago, led by increases of eight cents per gallon in Calif. and Nevada. However, drivers in all other states are feeling welcome price relief as the busy summer driving season gets underway.

These declines have been headlined by massive drops in the average prices paid by Midwestern drivers. Just weeks after prices in the region soared to new or near record-highs on regional supply and production issues, prices have just as dramatically reversed course, as refinery issues have been resolved and retail prices have come plummeting back to earth. Lingering production issues in the Chicago market, notably maintenance at the ExxonMobil refinery in Joliet, Ill., and the BP refinery in Whiting, Ind., had delayed price relief for some Great Lakes states, but with production coming back online the relief has been as swift as it has been welcome. The largest one-week drops nationwide have been Mich. (-30 cents), Ind. (-27 cents), Ohio (-24 cents) and Wisc. (-24 cents).

Largest-Weekly-Decreases-6-24-13

AAA expects that the national average is likely to continue dropping for the rest of June, but might, as has been the case in recent years, turn higher in July as the summer driving season ramps up. The national average rose 17 cents per gallon in July 2011 and 16 cents in July 2012.

One factor that could mitigate a seasonal increase in retail gasoline prices would be lower crude oil prices. Following Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke’s comments last Wednesday, which were seen as hinting at a possible late-2013 or early-2014 tapering of the Fed’s quantitative easing program, both commodities and equities markets tumbled. A slowing of bond purchases by the Fed would be expected to mean a stronger U.S. dollar. Crude oil futures are priced in dollars. As the currency strengthens relative to those abroad, the price of oil becomes relatively more expensive for those holding foreign currencies. Oil futures become a less attractive investment, which exerts downward pressure on prices, as was the case last week. After settling at $98.44 per barrel on Tuesday — the highest price since September 14 — WTI fell to $93.69 to end the week.

Prices recovered some of these losses today, after reports of three closed pipelines in Alberta due to flooding pressured WTI futures higher. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled up $1.49 at $95.18 per barrel.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, June 17, 2013) Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.61 per gallon. This is two cents less expensive than one week ago and three cents less than one month ago, but it is ten cents more than the same date last year.

gas-prices-6-17-13

The focus to begin last week was on the national average moving higher as a result of of sharp increases in retail prices for a handful of Great Lakes states. The near record high prices in these states were because of continued low supplies and transportation challenges for wholesale gasoline in the Chicago market, particularly due to maintenance at the ExxonMobil refinery in Joliet, Ill. and the BP refinery in Whiting, Ind. As noted in last Monday’s AAA Fuel Gauge Report, confirmation that the Joliet refinery was back online and talk throughout the week that the Whiting refinery would soon return to normal production levels meant imminent price relief for these states was likely.

This prediction held true as these same states have seen prices more than reverse course over the last week. Motorists in 26 states are paying more than one week ago, but none of these increases has been more than six cents. This compares to ten states where prices have fallen at least six cents during the same period, led by declines of fifteen cents or more in four Great Lakes states: Wisc. (-15 cents), Ohio (-18 cents), Ind. (-23 cents) and Mich. (-27 cents).

Largest-Weekly-Decreases-6-17-13

National gasoline markets in recent months have been driven by regional supply and production issues rather than by the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil, which has traded in a narrow $5 range. At the same time regional gasoline production and distribution concerns have eased and retail prices have inched lower, market-watchers have turned a wary eye to escalating geopolitical tensions in Syria. While Syria is not a major oil producing nation, there is the risk that fighting might spread to other countries in the region, and this has kept some upward pressure on crude oil prices. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX last Friday, these tensions drove WTI to settle at $97.85 per barrel which was the highest mark since January. At the close of today’s formal trading, WTI settled down 8 cents at $97.77 per barrel.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, June 10, 2013) Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.63 per gallon. This is a penny more expensive than one week ago, six cents more than one month ago and nine cents more than the same date last year. The national average was in the midst of a 61-cent tumble at this time last year — from a peak of $3.94 on April 5 and 6, to a summer-low of $3.33 on July 2 — so the year-over-year gap is likely to continue to widen in the coming days.

Top10-Highest-State-Avgs-6-10The national average has increased just one-cent in the past week; however this obscures divergent gas price storylines at the state level. Drivers in 25 states have seen prices fall during this period, led by the drops of more than 8 cents per gallon in Okla. (-8 cents), N.D. (-8 cents), Kan. (-9 cents), Neb. (-10 cents) and Minn. (-12 cents). Plunging prices in these five Midwestern and Central states represent a pull-back from recent dramatic highs, including all-time daily records in N.D and Minn. near the end of May.

At the same time, drivers in 25 states and Washington D.C. have seen prices increase over the past week. This group is led by sharply higher prices in several Great Lakes states, including jumps of at least 8 cents per gallon in Ohio (+9 cents), Wisc. (+11 cents), Mich. (+12 cents), Ill. (+16 cents) and Ind. (+19 cents). The near record high prices being paid by drivers in these states are the product of continued low supplies and transportation challenges for wholesale gasoline in the Chicago market, particularly because of maintenance at the ExxonMobil refinery in Joliet, Ill. and the BP refinery in Whiting, Ind. Confirmation today that the Joliet refinery was back online after more than two months will increase supply to the market and likely mean lower prices in the days ahead, however the Whiting refinery continues to operate at less than full capacity.

Largest-Weekly-Increases-6-10

While prices may tick higher in the next few days, AAA continues to expect lower prices — both nationally and in the Great Lakes — as June continues. Prices should drop below a national average of $3.50 per gallon by the end of the month if refineries, particularly those in the Great Lakes, can transition smoothly from ongoing maintenance to full production.

As noted in last week’s Fuel Gauge Report, national gasoline markets have been driven by regional supply and production issues and not by West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices, which have traded within a narrow $5 range. At the close of today’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled down 26 cents at $95.77 per barrel.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, June 3, 2013) Yesterday, for the first time in three months, American motorists paid more at the pump than they did one year ago.

Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.62 per gallon. This price is fractions of a penny less expensive than one week ago, but it is ten cents more expensive than one month ago and three cents more than the same date last year.

After ten consecutive overnight declines, the national average has now increased for two straight days.


National Average Gas Price Jan-Jun 2011-2013

Motorists in a handful of states (W.Va., S.C., Miss., Ala., N.C. and D.C.) have seen prices drop in the last 30 days, however sharply higher prices in the Midwest, Rockies and Pacific Northwest have propelled the national average higher at a time when, in recent years, drivers have enjoyed falling prices. Motorists in 16 states have seen prices rise by more than twenty cents per gallon in the past month and those in seven Midwestern states (N.D., S.D., Iowa, Okla., Neb., Kan., and Mich.) are paying at least thirty cents more. These higher regional prices have been due to continued refinery maintenance and other production issues that led to tight supplies.

Top Monthly Increases-6-3-13

The dramatic price increases in these Midwestern states have frustrated motorists, however many of these same drivers have also experienced sizable weekly declines as refinery maintenance draws to a close and supply concerns are alleviated. The primary exception has been three Great Lakes states: Ohio, Ind., and Mich. where gas prices have jumped more than a dime in the last seven days. These isolated higher retail prices have been due to heavy demand for wholesale gasoline in the Chicago market, as the summer driving season gets underway, at the same time that lingering refinery outages from planned and unplanned turnarounds mean lean supplies for this group of states.

While prices may tick higher in the next few days, AAA continues to expect lower prices — both nationally and in the Midwest — as June continues. Prices should drop below a national average of $3.50 per gallon by the end of the month if refineries can transition smoothly from ongoing maintenance to full production.

While national gasoline markets have been driven by regional supply and production issues, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices have traded within a narrow $5 range for more than a month. At the close of today’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled up $1.48 at $93.45 per barrel.

Michael Green Contact Tile

 

 

 

 

 

(WASHINGTON, May 31, 2013)

Gas Prices Increased in May for the First Time Since Winter

  • The national average price of gas increased 10.4 cents per gallon (2.96 percent) in May, which was the first monthly increase since February. Rising gas prices in many parts of the country led to significant motorist frustration heading into the busy summer driving season.
  • The national average increased 17 days in a row to $3.66 per gallon from May 6 until May 22, which was the largest consecutive streak of price increases since February. The national average has since dropped nine days in a row to $3.61 per gallon. Gas prices nationally increased 19 out of 31 days during the month. By contrast, prices increased only one day during May in 2012 and increased only seven days during the month in 2011.
  • “Consumers in the Midwest and other parts of the country faced tremendous frustrations due to rapidly rising gas prices in May,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “Continued refinery maintenance and other production issues led to tight supplies and a spooked market for much of the month. After seeing prices decline this spring, many motorists were unhappy to pay higher prices heading into the busy travel season.”
  • Gas prices increased in many parts of the country due to tight supplies caused by refinery maintenance and unexpected production issues, particularly in the Midwest, Rockies and Pacific Northwest. Relatively tight supplies and concerns about production typically lead to rising gas prices.
  • West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil prices also increased more than 10 percent from slightly below $87 per barrel in mid-April to more than $96 per barrel in mid-May. Rising oil prices increase gasoline costs resulting in higher pump prices for consumers. The price of WTI has since dropped to the most recent settlement price of $93.61 per barrel.
  • Despite the rising prices, motorists on average paid less at the pump in May than recent years. The national average for the month was $3.59 per gallon, compared to $3.72 per gallon in 2012 and $3.91 in 2011.
  • Half of U.S. adults consider gas prices to be “too high” when it reaches $3.44 per gallon, according to a new consumer index developed by AAA. Forty-six percent of adults believe gas is too high when it reaches $3.00 per gallon; 61 percent believe it is too high when it reaches $3.50 per gallon; and 90 percent believe gas is too high when it reaches $4.00 per gallon. Sixty-two percent of Americans are offsetting high gas prices by changing their driving habits or lifestyle.

Gas Prices Should Drop in June as Refinery Maintenance Winds Down

  • “Gasoline supply problems should ease over the next month as some refinery maintenance comes to an end,” continued Ash. “Prices should drop below a national average of $3.50 per gallon by the end of June if refineries can transition smoothly from ongoing maintenance to full production. Some concerns remain though because refineries often have complications when restarting, which could lead to unpredictable problems in the weeks ahead.”
  • The highest national average so far this year was $3.79 per gallon on Feb. 27. It is becoming increasingly possible that gas prices peaked for the year in February, but there is still potential for prices to spike later in the year. AAA has no record of gas prices ever previously peaking in February.
  • Gas prices often rise in late summer due to the hurricane season and a decline in supplies immediately prior to the switchover to winter-blend gasoline, so it is possible that motorists could pay higher prices later this year.

 

Gas Prices in the Great Plains Reached All-Time Record Highs in May

  • Motorists in the Great Plains paid among the highest gas prices the region had ever seen in May with both Minnesota and North Dakota breaking all-time record highs for each state. The average price of gas reached $4.27 per gallon on May 20 in Minnesota, while the average reached $4.24 per gallon in North Dakota on May 22.
  • In the days leading up to Memorial Day, consumers in 11 states were paying at least 30 cents per gallon more than the previous month. Motorists in nine states paid an average of more than $4 per gallon including Alaska, California, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska and Washington. At the peak, the price of gas increased more than 80 cents per gallon in Minnesota and 60 cents per gallon in North Dakota from the previous month. Gas prices across the region have begun to ease slowly from these record highs.
  • Gas prices spiked across the Midwest due to significant refinery and supply issues. Planned maintenance and upgrades at several refineries, including BP Whiting and ExxonMobil Joliet, in addition to unexpected problems at several other regional refineries, limited production and reduced gasoline supplies. The Pacific Northwest and Rockies experienced similar refinery issues, but to a lesser extent than in the Great Plains.
  • The price of gasoline continues to vary dramatically with the cheapest gasoline primarily found in the Southeast. The five states with the highest averages today include: Hawaii ($4.36), Alaska ($4.08), N.D. ($4.06), Calif. ($4.01) and Ill. ($3.97). The five states with the lowest averages today include: S.C. ($3.22), Ala. ($3.25), Miss. ($3.26), Tenn. ($3.27) and La. ($3.32).

Learn how to save money on gas with a few simple tips from AAA.

AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com. Every day up to 120,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline. For more information, contact Michael Green at 202-942-2082, mgreen@national.aaa.com

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