Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving Gas Prices’

(WASHINGTON, December 3, 2012) Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.39. This price is four cents less expensive than one week ago and ten cents less than one month ago, but it is 11 cents more expensive than one year ago. Today’s price is the highest on record for this calendar day and continues the streak of daily record prices that began on August 20.

Over the last week, prices in every state except Missouri and Kansas have fallen, led by drops in the middle of the country. While these week-over-week declines were most pronounced in Ohio (-15.4 cents), Michigan (-12.3 cents) and Indiana (-11.7 cents), these states are also three of only four where motorists today are paying more than they were on the same day last month: Indiana (+6.7 cents), Kentucky (+4.4 cents), Ohio (+2.3 cents) and Michigan (+1.3 cents).

 

Nationally, the largest one-week decline in pump prices was at the end of October when the national average dropped 14 cents. The largest increase during a similar seven-day period was 15 cents per gallon as prices surged higher to end February. Volatility has been more dramatic in the Midwest, where drivers have seen some of the largest price swings in the nation this year. Motorists in the region were squeezed to begin August, as prices rose some 40 cents or more per gallon in just one week, following regional production and distribution glitches. Prices in these same states had dropped about 25 cents in a week only a month earlier at the end of June.

While national retail gas prices have declined each day during the past week, crude oil prices have increased slightly, as market attention has focused on the impact of the looming U.S. fiscal cliff and the broader health of the global economy. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil breached the $90 per barrel mark during intraday trading, but ultimately settled up just 18 cents at $89.09 per barrel at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX.  WTI has not settled above $90 per barrel since October 19.

AAA research reveals need for regulators and industry to suspend E15 sales to protect motorists

ORLANDO, Fla. (Nov. 30, 2012) – A recent survey by AAA finds a strong likelihood of consumer confusion and the potential for voided warranties and vehicle damage as a result of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent approval of E15 gasoline. An overwhelming 95 percent of consumers surveyed have not heard of E15, a newly approved gasoline blend that contains up to 15 percent ethanol. With little consumer knowledge about E15 and less than five percent of cars on the road approved by automakers to use the fuel, AAA is urging regulators and the industry to stop the sale of E15 until motorists are better protected.

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Only about 12 million out of the more than 240 million light-duty vehicles on the roads today are approved by manufacturers to use E15 gasoline, based on a survey conducted by AAA of auto manufacturers. AAA automotive engineering experts also have reviewed the available research and believe that sustained use of E15 in both newer and older vehicles could result in significant problems such as accelerated engine wear and failure, fuel-system damage and false “check engine” lights for any vehicle not approved by its manufacturer to use E15.

“It is clear that millions of Americans are unfamiliar with E15, which means there is a strong possibility that many motorists may improperly fill up using this gasoline and damage their vehicle,” said AAA President & CEO Robert Darbelnet. “Bringing E15 to the market without adequate safeguards does not responsibly meet the needs of consumers.”

Unsuspecting consumers using E15 could end up with engine problems that might not be covered by their vehicles’ warranties. Five manufacturers (BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen) are on record saying their warranties will not cover fuel-related claims caused by the use of E15. Eight additional automakers (GM, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo) have stated that the use of E15 does not comply with the fuel requirements specified in their owner’s manuals and may void warranty coverage.

The only vehicles currently approved by automakers to use E15 are flex-fuel models, 2001 model-year and newer Porsches, 2012 model-year and newer GM vehicles and 2013 model-year Ford vehicles. These approvals extend only to cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty passenger vehicles (SUVs). The use of E15 is expressly prohibited in heavy-duty vehicles, boats, motorcycles, power equipment, lawn mowers and off-road vehicles.

“The sale and use of E15 should be suspended until additional gas pump labeling and consumer education efforts are implemented to mitigate problems for motorists and their vehicles,” continued Darbelnet. “Consumers should carefully read pump labels and know their auto manufacturer’s recommendations to help prevent any problems from E15.”

AAA urges fuel producers and regulators to do a better job of educating consumers about potential dangers before selling E15 gasoline. This outreach should include a consumer education campaign and more effective pump labels, among other potential safeguards to protect consumers and their vehicles. AAA also recommends additional testing to conclusively determine the impact of E15 use on vehicle engines and fuel system components. At least  ten gas stations currently sell E15 and that number is expected to grow, which means now is the time to suspend sales before more retailers begin offering the fuel.

The EPA in June officially approved the sale of E15 after receiving a waiver request from producers interested in expanding the use of corn-based ethanol. Despite objections by auto manufacturers, the EPA approved the use of E15 gasoline in flex-fuel vehicles and 2001 model year and newer cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty passenger vehicles and SUVs. AAA urges consumers to follow the recommendations of manufacturers to truly protect themselves from voided warranties or potential damage.

AAA supports the development and use of alternative fuels. More than 95 percent of the gasoline sold in the United States contains up to 10 percent ethanol. Lower ethanol blends should remain available to consumers while the challenges with E15 are addressed.

The survey findings related to consumer knowledge of E15 are from a telephone survey conducted among a national probability sample of 1,012 adults comprising 504 men and 508 women 18 years of age and older, living in private households in the continental United States.

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.

(WASHINGTON, November 26, 2012) Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.42.  This price is 13 cents less expensive than one month ago, but it is fractions of a penny more expensive than one week ago and 12 cents more expensive that one year ago.  Today’s price is the highest on record for this calendar day and continues the streak of daily record prices that began on August 20.  The price at the pump this Thanksgiving was the highest ever for the holiday — 11 cents higher than the previous record set last year.

Over the last week, prices in 27 states have declined, led by Alaska (-10 cents per gallon), Utah (-6.8 cents) and Idaho (-6.2 cents), while motorists in Kentucky (+10.2 cents), Ohio (+7.1 cents) and Indiana (+6.5 cents) have seen the greatest price increases.  Drivers in Missouri currently pay the least for a gallon of gasoline at $3.14.  Drivers in Hawaii currently pay the most, at $4.07, and it remains the only state with an average price higher than $4 per gallon.

The national average price at the pump peaked this summer at $3.87 on September 14, the day before much of the U.S. began the transition to winter-blend gasoline.  Since that day, gas prices have fallen steadily (60 of 73 days) and are now 45 cents below the recent peak.  This decline was the product of the changeover to winter-blend fuel, which is less expensive to produce; cheaper crude oil prices; lower demand; and economic concerns.   Prices fell nearly nine cents during the second half of September and dropped more than 26 cents in October.  However, the national average has declined less than a dime to-date in November.  The reasons for this slowing decline are regional disruptions to distribution in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, higher crude oil prices, and bullish U.S. economic news.

Following the Hurricane, electrical outages and infrastructure damage disrupted regional distribution networks.  While these issues were slowly resolved, prices in impacted areas were pressured temporarily higher, offsetting falling prices in other regions.  Prices in affected areas have returned lower recently, however the decline in the national retail price of gasoline has now been impacted by rising crude oil prices.  Oil prices rose as high as $99 per barrel in September, before falling to less than $85 earlier this month.  From that low, crude prices increased to more than $89 per barrel to begin last week, and these prices continue to put upward pressure on retail gas prices.  Additionally, recent bullish economic news, including some positive signals in Washington, D.C. regarding efforts to address the looming U.S. “fiscal cliff,” have seen commodities prices, including gasoline, move higher.  A stronger economy would be expected to demand more gasoline, which puts upward pressure on prices.

At the close of today’s formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil was down 54 cents on the day to settle at $87.74 per barrel.

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