Posts Tagged ‘gas prices’

Gas Pump Fill-upCongress is warning gas prices — already on the upswing, these past few weeks — could go even higher, given an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandate on renewable fuels that’s about to take effect.

Refiners are paying much more for corn ethanol credits that are used to meet EPA standards on renewable fuels, Politicoreports. Refiners used to pay a few cents per gallon; now, they pay more than $1 a gallon. That means refiners could pay an additional $7 billion before the end of the year — and consumers may end up helping out with costs.

“We’re just in the middle of a tornado trying to figure out what to do,” said Stephen Brown, vice president for federal and government affairs at the refining company, Tesoro, in the Politico report. “But we can all agree this is not a good thing for consumers.”

To counter growing costs, refiners can boost gasoline exports, decrease how much gas they refine — or stick it to buyers.

“I suspect a combination of all three things [are] happening with refiners,” said Bill Day, a spokesman for U.S. refiner Valero, in the Politico report.

Meanwhile, congressional energy committee members are looking for solutions. One House Energy and Commerce Committee aide said that members will be holding hearings on the EPA mandate on renewable fuels, but they have yet to set a date.

While no one is pretending that the post-recessionary era is over, the general economic picture has clearly taken a turn for the better as big automotive dealer groups up their forecasts and gas prices ease and many RV builders and suppliers wake up to a world that is somewhat brighter than they might have thought a few months ago.

“I would say that it’s stronger than we would have anticipated definitely six months ago,” says Andy Baer, vice president of sales and marketing for KZ RV LP, Shipshewana, Ind. “We’re seeing a lot of resilience in the consumer, very good turn of inventory at the retail level. Yeah, I mean we’re excited about what we’re seeing and hearing out here. It’s refreshing to see.”

Full Story…

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The national average, which slipped to $3.446 per gallon on Tuesday, should continue to fall at least through the new year, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Some of the reasons for the price drop:

Motorists drive less in the fall than in the summer, and refineries are allowed to make lower-cost winter fuel blends.

Motorists are buying much less gasoline. A MasterCard SpendingPulse survey, which tracks retail gasoline purchases in the US, said drivers have cut back at the pump for nearly eight months in a row.

The survey, which was released Tuesday, said motorists bought 61.8 million barrels of gasoline last week, 2.8 percent less than the same period last year.

Experts said motorists are cutting back because they can’t afford to buy more.

Prices flirted with $4 per gallon in May, and a gallon of regular is still about 63 cents higher than it was a year ago.

Overall, gasoline is expected to average $3.52 per gallon this year, a record high.

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