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Why are gas prices so high?

Gasoline prices across the nation have reached an all-time record high as the average cost of fuel reached $3.513 in 2011. With prices at the pump increasing on an almost daily basis, there doesn’t seem to be any relief in sight.
The price of gasoline drivers put into their vehicles is based on the cost of crude oil. Costs for fuel are not only dictated by conditions in the United States, but across the world. Demand for oil in China and India and conflict in far regions of the world impact the price of crude oil, resulting in changes at the pumps in America. This last round of price increases is believed to be a result of actions taken by Greece to avoid defaulting on their debt. Additionally, the demand for gas across the country has decreased, causing concern for refiners as they plan for less consumption. This tends to push fuel prices up. Prices rose last week to just over $100 a barrel. Costs are also influenced by oil price futures, which are traded as commodities on the stock market.
Experts have predicted that gas prices could reach $4.00 a gallon by May of this year. During the summer months, a summer blend is used that contains different fuel additives. This summer fuel is more expensive for refineries to process. Fifty-five percent of the price of fuel is comprised of costs associated with crude oil, and federal and state taxes and distribution costs make up the remaining 45 percent.
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