energy, the top supporter of Proposition 23.
This handbook offers solutions for the most visible and pervasive sector of the current oil/environmental crisis: transportation by automobile. Americans travel more than 3.5 trillion vehicle miles per year1 (not even including occasional long-distance drives). They face often-staggering gasoline costs and emit millions of tons of pollutants. Our assessments and recommendations aim at reducing the use of oil as a personal transportation fuel while offering consumers alternatives that are ultimately both cleaner and cheaper.
Diesel fuel is the engine of American commerce and public life. Oil companies, by manipulating supply, put sugar in the tank of a whole economy this spring. The companies and their refiners produced less diesel, imported less diesel and exported far more diesel than in previous years. This shortage was abetted by a careless and deliberate lack of oversight by government. The story is laid out step by step in this study.
This report investigates why the price of gasoline at the pump in the U.S. and California do not follow downward changes in the price of crude oil. It findings document how oil companies and their refineries fail to raise gasoline inventories during the off-season. Longer than usual maintenance shutdowns, mechanical failures, fires other incidents also spike gasoline prices and compound effects of the lack of inventory. These events disconnect the price of gasoline from the price of crude oil.
Consumer Watchdog asked independent oil analyst Tim Hamilton to examine gasoline price increases nationally and in California, in comparison to the price of crude oil. Hamilton compared the average price of gasoline with the spot price of the benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil in the U.S. and California, from early April 2006 until April 23, 2007. The primary data source was the federal Energy Information Administration. Hamilton’s conclusion is that the traditional link between the spot price of crude oil, which historically equaled about 55 percent of the price of gasoline, is broken. The result of the broken price link is a marked and sustained increase in profits from the refining of
oil into gasoline.