This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

April 12, 2006

EIA: Gasoline Prices to be Higher this Summer

Retail prices for regular gasoline are projected to be 25 cents higher this summer than they were last year, according to DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA's Short Term Energy and Summer Fuels Outlook, released on April 11th, projects summer gasoline prices to average $2.62 per gallon. The high gasoline prices will be largely due to continued high prices for crude oil, which is projected to average $65 per barrel this year. Other contributors to the high prices are a strong growth in demand for gasoline coupled with new requirements for low-sulfur gasoline and voluntary efforts by refiners to phase out their use of the additive MTBE. As noted by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), the MTBE phase-out is only expected to contribute a few cents to the overall cost. Retail diesel fuel prices are also expected to average $2.62 per gallon this summer, with high prices partly caused by a requirement to phase in ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel beginning in June. See the EIA report and the RFA press release.

Retail gasoline prices have been on a steady rise in recent weeks. According to the Fuel Gage Report, a publication of the American Automobile Association, the April 11th prices for regular gasoline averaged $2.686 per gallon in the United States, up more than 32 cents per gallon from the average price on March 11th. See the Fuel Gage Report.