Gas prices expected to be up today as pumps being switched to summer fuel, as gas refineries and suppliers were to switch to the summer blend by midnight, Sunday night. I always found it strange, that it’s more expensive to produce than that sold in the winter. But why is that? Spring and fall, gas stations switch between summer-grade and winter-grade fuel. The switch started in 1995 in order to reduce pollution and smog during the summer ozone season (June 1 to Sept. 15; Source: EPA) for those of us who weren’t keeping track (yours truly included). To reduce pollution, summer-blend fuels use different fuel additives (oxygenates) which, we’re told, burn cleaner and also help compensate for a limited oil supply. Adding to the cost, refineries have to briefly shut down before they begin processing it. One estimate claims the production change costs an increase of only 1 cent to 2 cents per gallon, a U.S. gallon , I think, (Source: Slate), while another states 3 cents to 15 cents per gallon (Source: Reason) which should be about a quarter of that for a litre. The increase you and I pay at the pump is even greater, owing, in part, to the summer driving season and dips in supply. Well, so they say.
(Source: auto.howstuffworks.com, narcity.com; Image: Occasional Planet)