The EPIC Energy Blog

The price of gasoline varies over time and by region, and in many ways affects the lives of the majority of the global population. This post looks at what makes up the price of a gallon of gas and highlights a few of the factors that shape the diversity in price.

Whether the price at the pump has gone up or down depends on the time scale considered and whether one looks at nominal or real dollars (adjusted for inflation). Over a nearly 100 year period (1919-2010) the real price of gasoline at the pump has decreased by about 15%. However, over a shorter period of time (1990-2010) the real price has increased by nearly 45%. The following two charts show how the price of gasoline has fluctuated over both the long-term and short-term timeframes.

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Estimates indicate that the United States consumed roughly 8.75 million barrels…

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