The Oil Industry in North America (U.S.A. / Canada) is quite flawed. The United States takes fossil fuels for granted. Fossil Fuels is quite a bit cheaper in the U.S. compared to Europe (even compared to Mexico and Canada, in some cases). As of this writing, Gasoline (Petrol) in the U.S. averages $3.56 U.S Dollars per U.S. Gallon. That is roughly equivalent to €0.71 Euros per Liter when converted from current U.S. gasoline prices. Compare that to Italy’s average of €1.82 Euros per Liter, which, when converted, is equivalent to $9.06 U.S. Dollars per U.S. Gallon. Quite substantial difference, isn’t it?
The European Union (EU) taxes fossil fuels dramatically more than the U.S. Federal Government, which explains the reason why fuel is so costly in Europe. The EU also taxes Gasoline more than Diesel, due to Gasoline’s efficiency being historically inferior to Diesel. Car buyers who buy a Diesel car in Europe will see more tax incentives over buyers who choose Gasoline. Part of the reason, is because Diesel is naturally more efficient, has more energy per liter, and originally was designed to be made and used from vegetable oil. Gasoline engines delivers less power per liter and less efficiency overall, when compared to Diesel engines of the same capacity displacement. By contrast, the U.S. Federal Government has no such tax incentives for purchasing Diesel over Gasoline. It is actually discouraged, based on the fact that Gasoline is taxed 18.4¢ cents per U.S. gallon, while Diesel is taxed higher, at 24.4¢ per U.S. gallon. Both these tax numbers are just federal taxes. State fuel taxes add, on average, 31.5¢ cents for Gasoline, and 31¢ for Diesel on top of federal taxes. This adds to an average grand total of 49.9¢ per U.S gallon for Gasoline, and 55.4¢ per U.S. gallon for Diesel.
Diesel vehicles get much better fuel economy compared to Gasoline, particularly in highway or freeway driving. One full tank of Diesel will usually get you twice as far than on Gasoline. Compare a Volkswagen Jetta 2.0 Liter TDI Diesel vs a 1.8 Liter Turbo Gasoline, for example. The 2.0 TDI will get nearly double the miles (about ~700 miles) than the 1.8 Turbo, on the same capacity fuel tank, if driven efficiently, making the most of highway and freeway speeds.
People in the U.S. take fossil fuels for granted because it happens to be cheap, but yet, we complain how “expensive” it is becoming. I personally, would be happy to pay Europe’s fuel prices because I know that I will be conservative with it, where in the U.S, we tend to waste it, hence why we drive V8 pickup trucks and SUVs. Our Carbon Dioxide (CO2) levels that we emit country-wide is dramatically higher than Europe’s, and it might as well go along that we use about 30% percent of the world’s energy. Here is a map detailing our CO2 emission levels per capita (person).
As you can see, the U.S. and Canada take the top spots in this data. We mostly drive big SUV’s with Gasoline V8 engines that just carry around 1 person for a commute to a job, or to grab a snack at corner stores.
Here is another CO2 level map, except this one is emissions emitted overall per country.
The U.S. does emit as much as China does, but to offset that, China carries 20% percent of the world’s population, and therefore emit much, much lower CO2 levels per capita (person).
The U.S. is, without a doubt, wasteful. We need to decrease our fossil fuel usage, substantially, and that, unfortunately, will not be easy task to do.