Far From Free-Market Prices for Gasoline
True Cost of U.S. Gasoline is $15.14 per Gallon, Report Says
by Tom Doggett & edited by The Progress Report staffSo you think you're getting a good deal on a tank of gasoline these days? You wouldn't think so if all the oil industry tax subsidies received from the federal and state governments and other costs that went into producing that gallon of gasoline were included in the pump price.
Such external costs push the true price of gasoline as high as $15.14 a gallon, according to a new report released by the International Centre for Technology Assessment.
"In reality, the external costs of using our cars are much higher than we may realize," the Washington-based research group said in its report.Publisher's note -- for a deeper look at this, see Clifford W. Cobb's article here.The report examined more than 40 separate cost factors, the group said, that are associated with gasoline production but aren't reflected by the price of gasoline at the pump.
These external costs total up to $1.69 trillion per year, according to the report.
The group points out that the federal government provides the oil industry with tax breaks and massive corporate welfare handouts, so gasoline is artificially cheap for American consumers.
The Department of Energy is forecasting that the national price for regular unleaded gasoline will average $1.02 during the current quarter, which, when adjusted for inflation, is the lowest price on record for any three-month period.
Artificial, anti-free-market subsidies don't end at the federal level, as the group said most state income taxes are in turn based on oil firms' lower federal tax bills, which result in companies paying $123 million to $323 million less in state taxes.
In addition to tax breaks, the federal government provides up to $114.6 billion to the wealthy industry in giveaways and subsidies annually that support the extraction, production and use of petroleum, such as research and development and export financing.
The federal government also spends up to $1.6 billion yearly on regulatory oversight, pollution cleanup and liability costs connected to the oil industry, the group said.
In addition, U.S. military spending allocated to guard the world's petroleum resources totals $55 billion to $96 billion a year, according to the group.
What is your opinion about the true cost of gasoline? Tell it to The Progress Report:
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