Many have worried we could see record gasoline prices this summer — but all of those fears appear to be overblown. Let me explain why we won't see record prices this summer.
Reason One: Refiners are running at 85 percent of capacity
Eighty-five percent is a bit higher than last year. The reason behind this increased refining is that the margin for turning a barrel of crude into gas is near record highs, and refineries want to take advantage of it by producing as much gasoline as they can. This trend will continue, driving down prices
Reason Two: Supplies outside of the Northeast are good
Superstorm Sandy caused some disruption in the supply lines in the Northeast. But the fact is that the Gulf is awash in gas, and that can help make up any shortfall this year.
Reason Three: The economy is still not running on all cylinders
With 7 million people still unemployed, look for the economy to keep demand muted.
Reason Four: Today's cars are more fuel-efficient
The one big reason why we won't see record gasoline prices is that cars on the road today are much more fuel efficient than they were even five years ago. In fact, cars produced today are 17 percent more efficient than those produced just five years ago. And with all the mileage standards increasing, not only in this country but around the world, demand should be tempered.
So drive easy this summer, America — it's going to be cheaper to do so.