Gas Prices Got You Whining? Be Glad You’re Not Overseas
If you’re keeping count, the average price of gasoline in the U.S. is up for the 35th straight day! Winter isn’t typically a time when demand rises at the gas pump, but prices have climbed a whopping 48 cents since late January, according to AAA.
There’s pain at the pump no matter where you live, but some parts of the country are feeling it more than others. When prices in Tulsa, where I live, shot up another dime this week to around $3.60 a gallon for regular unleaded, you could almost hear drivers scream from inside their vehicles.
Quit your whining
I asked my Facebook and Twitter friends how much they’re shelling out for gas where they live. Here are a few of the responses:
- Rick in Muskogee, OK: “Cost me $65 to fill my Explorer. $3.47.”
- Christina in Northern California: “$4.05.”
- Patty in Rancho Cucamonga, CA: “$4.29.”
- Londa in Stayton, OR: “$3.55 but I buy the cheap stuff.”
- David in Greenwood, AR: “$3.63.”
- Maggie in McMinnville, OR: “$3.69.”
- Lee in Newport Beach, CA: “No whining when we are at 4.50.”
Did you say ten bucks?
I hope you’re not whining Lee. While $4.50 is certainly a lot, you don’t even come close to what Bob saw. Here’s my high school friend’s response on Facebook: “About 14 Kroner per liter in Norway. That’s $10/gallon. Nice place to visit, as long as the company is paying for it.”
Did you catch that? 10 bucks a gallon! While Americans complain (and can you blame us?) about the price of gas, it doesn’t come close to what other countries are paying. InvestmentNews is out with its highest gas prices by country list. And Norway isn’t even the highest price! Here are a few countries on the list and their average price:
- 11. Hong Kong $8.15
- 9. France $8.38
- 6. Greece $8.62
- 3. The Netherlands $9.09
- 2. Norway $9.63
- 1. Turkey $9.89
Slap a tax on it
Why so high across the pond and elsewhere? “The difference between countries comes down to taxes and subsidies,” Tom Kloza, the chief oil analyst for Oil Price Information Service, told CNN. “Prices are incredibly high in Europe because of the stiff taxes that EU countries put on fuel. The same holds true for many other countries.”
Did you say 12 cents?
So who has the cheapest gas? Here’s an excerpt from a 2011 CNNMoney story:
That distinction goes to OPEC nations throughout the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Nigeria and Venezuela.
Even in 2008, when average gas prices reached a peak of $4.11 in the U.S., the governments of OPEC nations were able to keep in their gas prices artificially low. In 2008, gas was still retailing for less than a dollar per gallon in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Nigeria, according to research company AirInc. In Venezuela that year, gas was selling for 12 cents a gallon.
12 cents a gallon! A few of you may be old enough to remember when gas was that low in this country. We can’t expect to see that ever again, nor should we. But it sure would be nice not to let out a scream every time we drive past the pump.