Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Little Gas Cost Perspective...

...from Robert Bryce at Slate:
American gasoline is also dirt-cheap compared with gas in other countries. British motorists are currently paying about $8.38 per gallon for gasoline. In Norway, a major oil exporter, drivers are paying $8.73. In 2007, out of the 32 industrialized countries surveyed by the International Energy Agency, only one (Mexico) had cheaper gasoline than the United States. Last year, drivers in Turkey were paying three times as much for their gasoline as Americans were. The IEA data also show that in India—where the per capita gross domestic product is about $2,700 (about 6 percent of the per capita GDP in the United States)—drivers have been paying more for their diesel fuel and gasoline than their American counterparts.

(Gasoline is also cheap compared with other essential fuels. A Starbucks venti latte costs the equivalent of $23 per gallon, while Budweiser beer runs $11 per gallon.)
So, I guess the moral of the story is filling your coffee cup with petroleum is much cheaper than hot coffee and milk?

Seriously though, this will be a fundamental change for most Americans. The biggest difference is that our sprawl-oriented development pattern over the last 50 years is much more endemic and extensive than those of Europe and even many parts of Asia and South America.

Meaning that this will be a much tougher pill (or shot of espresso--pick your analogy) too swallow than many other places. That's why abandoning sprawl and embracing walkable places is a much more fundamental solution than biodiesel and other gimmicks.