Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Who is doing the Price Gouging?

We all know how bad the oil companies are. They are getting rich providing a valuable product to consumers. But who profits most:

State, local and federal taxes make up about 20 percent of the cost paid at the pump, according to Conoco Phillips, an international, integrated energy company.

So, while many tend to assume major gas companies are hugely profiting when gas prices peak, this may not be the case. According to the U.S. Energy information Administration, when the average price of regular unleaded gas peaked at $3 per gallon in 2006, most major companies were profiting only about
10 cents per gallon on refining and marketing options, while the federal tax alone is as much as 18.4 cents per gallon.

As of March, the national average gasoline tax is 45.8 cents. New York has the highest gas tax at 60.8 cents at the pump, with Hawaii just behind costing 60.2 cents per gallon, according to the American Petroleum Institute.

Gas taxes include federal, averaging 18.4 cents per gallon; state, averaging 18.2 cents per gallon; and additional taxes costing an average of 9.15 cents per gallon. The additional taxes include applicable sales taxes, gross receipts taxes, oil inspection fees, underground storage tank fees and other environmental fees.

So the oil company (who supplies the product) gets about $.10 a gallon, while the government (who does absolutely nothing) gets around $.45.8 a gallon. Who is it that needs to be investigated for price gouging?

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