U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Frequently Asked Questions
Why has diesel fuel been more expensive than gasoline?
On-highway diesel fuel prices have been higher than regular gasoline prices almost continuously since September 2004, a break from the historical pattern of diesel fuel prices usually being lower than gasoline prices except in cold winters when demand for heating oil pushed diesel fuel prices higher. The main reasons why diesel fuel prices have been higher than gasoline prices in recent years are:
- High worldwide demand for diesel fuel and other distillate fuel oils, especially in Europe, China, India, and the United States, and a tight global refining capacity available to meet demand during the period of high economic growth from 2002 to mid-2008.
- The transition to less polluting, lower-sulfur diesel fuels in the United States affected diesel fuel production and distribution costs.
- The Federal excise tax for on-highway diesel fuel of 24.4 cents/gallon is 6 cents per gallon higher the gasoline tax.
Today in Energy: Retail prices: diesel outpaces gasoline
For EIA's latest diesel fuel price forecast, see EIA's Short-Term Energy Outlook
Last updated: October 17, 2012
Other FAQs about Diesel
- Does EIA publish off-road diesel fuel prices?
- How do I calculate diesel fuel surcharges?
- How many gallons of diesel fuel does one barrel of oil make?
- How much biodiesel is produced, imported, exported, and consumed in the United States?
- How much carbon dioxide is produced by burning gasoline and diesel fuel?
- When was the last refinery built in the United States?
- Why are the retail pump prices for gasoline and diesel fuel in increments of 0.9 cents?
- Why don't fuel prices change as quickly as crude oil prices?
- Why has diesel fuel been more expensive than gasoline?
- What are projected diesel fuel prices for 2013 and for 2014?