Gas Price Breakdown

The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.22.

People in Louisiana are paying an average of $3.08.

And locally in Lafayette, drivers are forking over $3.09 a gallon on average.

Why are gas prices as high as they are?

A big part of what determines what you pay for gas is what gas producers pay for oil.  A 42 gallon barrel of oil currently sells for around $67.

It takes about a $1.50 worth of crude to make a gallon of gas.

Here in Louisiana, state and federal taxes account for another $0.38 of what you are paying at the pump.

Add to that the $0.10 a gallon oil companies make on the sale of every gallon.

That is the oil companies' profit margin.

That brings you to $1.98.

But if you're paying $3.03 a gallon where does the rest of the money go?

There is the pipeline operator that delivers the crude oil, to the refinery, the refinery that manufactures the gas, the transportation companies that delivers the gas and the gas stations that sell it to you.

That adds up to $1.05 and includes not only the cost but also the profit margin.

So what can be done to lower prices at the pump?

Well one law maker says the key to lower prices is forcing the oil companies to increase capacity.

There hasn't been a new refinery built in this country since the early 70's.  Environmental regulations are the primary factor there.

Despite that, our nations refining capacity is actually higher than it has ever been because existing refineries are being expanded.

But at the same time the amount of gasoline we import is actually down.

We typically import about 12 % of our gasoline, but imports are currently down because of problems being experienced by European refineries and, more recently, a dock workers strike in France.

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