With more Americans hitting the road as the summer driving season kicks off, they're paying a lot more attention to the price of gasoline at the pump.
And with prices spiking in several parts of the country, a lot of drivers are wondering why they are suddenly shelling out more to fill up.
As usual, many forces are at work—from refinery outages to spot shortages. And any time prices spike, many drivers suspect that someone may be rigging the market. This time, they may be right.
Gasoline prices are all over the place. Why are prices so different from one place to another?
A lot has to do with the available refining capacity in a particular region, along with the transportation costs in getting fuel to the drivers who need it.
Then add in state gasoline taxes, which range from Alaska, where you pay only 8 cents a gallon, to New York, which tacks on 50.6 cents to the price of every gallon.