Some analysts say the seemingly inexorable climb in energy prices also can be traced back to U.S. fuel exports. Even though America has an insatiable demand of its own for oil and gas, it ships a combined 3 million barrels of gas, diesel, distillates and propane abroad per day, according to Energy Information Administration statistics. During the recent, tundra-like winter, export volumes actually surged to 3.7 million barrels per day, which may help explain why domestic energy prices skyrocketed.
That amounts to more than a billion barrels a year, an amount Richard Hastings, macro strategist at Global Hunter Securities, said is nearly 70 percent more than what the U.S. exported back in 2008.
"The U.S. has become such a big exporter of fuel that it winds up getting priced at international market prices," represented by the Brent crude contract, Hastings said. Brent trades at a premium to West Texas Intermediate, the customary domestic benchmark.
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For the last five years, domestic gas prices rose alongside export volumes nearly 75 percent of the time, said Hastings, who added that fuel shipments exert far more upward pressure on energy prices than speculators. Service stations also tend to mark up gas prices in order to account for the price of ethanol, Hastings added, which in March soared to a seven-year high.
"Gasoline stations know you can't get control over ethanol or crude, so they smooth it out and mark up (gasoline prices) even if ethanol costs go down," Hastings said. "The retail part of the business knows costs are going to go right back up."
—By CNBC's Javier David.