Why gas prices have spiked – American Maritime Partnership

Staff Report

February 27, 2013

In a letter to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the American Maritime Partnership (AMP) outlined the reasons for recent spikes in gasoline prices, noting that the cost of shipping has no impact on the price at the pump.   

To see the letter, click here: DC-#9678676-v1-Hunter-Garamendi_Letter_on_gas_spikes.

According to the letter, “An incredibly complex range of factors impacts the price of crude oil in the global marketplace. Many experts say the recent spike in crude oil prices is tied to more demand in an improving economy throughout the world, particularly in China. Other factors include the value
of the dollar, geopolitical issues, global supply/demand, inflation, and weather, just to name a
few. However, as the following chart shows, the price of crude is overwhelmingly the driving
factor. Crude oil, combined with federal, state and local taxes, accounts for 82 percent of the ultimate
price of gas for consumers.”

The letter points out that crude oil and gasoline are transported into and within the U.S. on railroads, pipelines, foreign flag vessels, and American vessels. The price of shipping within the United States is a minimal factor in the overall supply chain. Accusations that American shipping is somehow the
cause of the recent spike in gasoline prices are pure fiction. Gasoline prices have increased in
every part of the country, even in those regions where domestic vessels play no part in the

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