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Editorial: Costliest year ever for gas

December 7, 2012
The Alpena News

With Christmas but a few weeks away now readers are left scurrying to make purchases and finalize the gifts for those on their list.

It's the period where often, they are digging deep into those pockets for another coin or two.

Unfortunately, thanks to gasoline prices this year, those coins won't be as plentiful. According to, whose officials closely monitor such things, 2012 is one for the record books. Never before have American consumers paid more at the pump than we did for gasoline this year.

According to them the national unleaded average as of this week was $3.63 a gallon over the first 11 months of the year.

Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for the firm, said "last year's average price of gasoline nationwide was $3.51 per gallon. The national average price of gasoline in the U.S. would have to drop to $2.35 per gallon or lower for every day for the remainder of 2012 in order for the yearly average price to fall below last year's level."

And, we know that won't happen. Gas prices in Michigan did drop 11.2 per gallon over the past seven days according to the petroleum monitoring website, bringing the average price per gallon in Michigan this week to $3.43. That compares to the national average of $3.39, and local prices around $3.36 at the beginning of the week. By week's end, the price of unleaded locally had dropped to $3.28.

While certainly that is welcome news, when compared to the same week last year the price per gallon in Michigan is 15.1 cents more this year than last, and 2.9 cents more than the same week just a month ago in November.

While it is true Santa still laughs "Ho, Ho, Ho" to good girls and boys everywhere, he's able to maintain that positive perspective because his transportation is fueled by grain and corn, not petroleum.

Were that not the case he, like us, would be going "Oh, Oh, Oh" looking at the pump prices over the past 12 months.



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