Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Could Be Better (Caracas), Could Be Worse (Turkey)

Gasoline Prices Per Gallon, 2004 - November 2006 (below)
According to Foreign Affairs, "Global gasoline prices vary enormously, thanks to widely divergent subsidy and taxation policies. Just look at what it costs to fill the 13.2-gallon tank of a 2007 Honda Civic around the world: It’s pocket change in Venezuela, but more than $30 in the United States. If you think that’s pricey, try driving in Turkey, where a full tank will set you back nearly $100 (see top chart above, click to enlarge).

Gasoline prices are based largely on the price of crude oil, but refining costs, distribution, and taxes also add to the tab. Some governments, such as Venezuela and Iran, pick up much of the bill through subsidies. But as the price of crude has risen, many countries have abandoned subsidies in favor of higher gas taxes. Indonesian motorists have perhaps been hit hardest: Gas prices there have increased a whopping 238 percent since 2000 (see bottom chart above, click to enlarge).


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