With the high price of gas these days, Americans have cut back on their consumption. In fact U.S. demand for gas has dropped to its lowest levels in 10 years. So where does all that left over gas go? One would think that maybe with a surplus of gas all that excess fuel would go into refineries for later use to, maybe you know, keep gas prices reasonable. Nope, no way – that surplus of gasoline is being exported in record numbers to places like Brazil, Mexico, and Chile.
The U.S. has exported 430,000 more barrels of gasoline a day than it imported in the month of September. Experts and industry insiders say the trend is here to stay, and that exporting diesel and other refined products from the United States is now becoming much more common.
The U.S. began exporting its gasoline in late 2008; at the same time the American economy was crumbling, home foreclosures were on the rise, and so was the price of gas at the pump. Before 2008, the U.S. consumed all of the gas it produced plus the gas it imported.
So why the decline is American gas consumption? Well, the high price of fuel is defiantly a major factor, as is the recession, but also modern car are simply more fuel efficient. People are buying electric vehicles, hybrids, or fuel efficient sub compacts. This is a good thing; America needs to move onto being a more fuel conscious society. However instead of exporting the excess gas, it could be put into reserves or used to alleviate the current price of fuel is being sold. Instead it is shipped out for higher profits.
“I can understand it, from a truck driver’s perspective. You’re paying $4 or $4.50 a gallon to run your rig, yet we’re exporting the crap out of this fuel. I’d be outraged too.”
Will this exportation of American gasoline be enough to give the U.S. economy a boost in a positive direction? Probably not, as it is important to keep in mind that American gasoline exportation has been going on since late 2008 and the reality is that things are not that much better now than they were back then.
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison