Sunday, December 10, 2006

Fun Facts on Gas Prices

After you account for inflation, the price of gasoline today (about $2.26/gallon) is 67 cents cheaper than it was in 1922. It's 69 cents cheaper than it was in 1981. The record average was set in March of 1981: $3.12 per gallon.

24 oz. bottles of water often go for about $1.29. That's $6.88 per gallon.

Pints of "premium" ice cream run for about $3.39. That's $27.00 per gallon!

Yet if you ask people which costs more--gasoline, water, or ice cream--gas always wins.

20/20's John Stossel writes:
We should marvel at how cheap gasoline is--what a bargain we get from oil companies. After all, it's easy to bottle water, but think about what it takes to produce and deliver gasoline. Oil has to be sucked out of the ground, sometimes from deep beneath an ocean. To get to the oil, the drills often have to bend and dig sideways through as much as five miles of earth. What they find then has to be delivered through long pipelines or shipped in monstrously expensive ships, then converted into three or more different formulas of gasoline and transported in trucks that cost more than $100,000 each. Then your local gas company must spend a fortune on safety devices to make sure you don't blow yourself up. At $2.26 a gallon (about forty six cents of which go to taxes), gas is miraculously cheap!

Remember that the next time the media complains about record-high gas prices!

John Stossel, Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel--Why Everything You Know Is Wrong, p. 22. [NB: All the figures from above come from this book.]