Across the country, Americans are feeling the pinch of increasing gasoline prices. The average price of a gallon of gas in the U.S. currently sits around $3.53 a gallon, up about 34 cents from 16 days ago. For what it's worth, you can blame conflict and political instability in the Middle East and North Africa for the leap.
But is our gas really expensive? Not when you take a look around the world.
The average European pays double what an American pays for fuel, and it's not because there's no oil in Europe. All EU nations put heavy taxes on fuel. America does not. In Norway, where a gallon of gas will run you $9.28, there is a thriving offshore oil industry in the North Atlantic. The British, Irish, Germans, Italians, and French all pay between $7.50 and $8 per gallon. Even the Japanese pay $6.30 a gallon and Canadians $4.49 per gallon. So next time that $4 dollar a gallon really gets your goat, just remember our friends around the world who pay double what we do now.
It's true that people in some oil-producing nations like Nigeria and Venezuela pay next to nothing for gasoline, thanks to government subsidies that help leaders keep a lid on social unrest.
One thing about gas prices is certain: they are only going up. If there was ever a time to look into public transportation, hybrid cars, bicycle commuting, or walking, it is now.
Photo: A Statoil gas station sign in Norway. (Hakon Mosvold/Getty Images)