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Chart: Why $4-Per-Gallon Gas Is Damn Cheap

Even at $4-per-gallon, American gasoline is damn cheap compared to most of the world. See how much drivers in other countries shell out per gallon.

Inspired by Cord's thought-provoking post on the per gallon prices of various liquids, and by Sarah Palin's ill-informed Facebook rant on the "$4-Per-Gallon President," I decided to take a closer look at gasoline prices around the world. Mrs. Palin might be interested to learn, that the world already has quite a few $4-Per-Gallon Presidents. In fact, the world already has $6-Per-Gallon Parliaments, $7-Per-Gallon Prime Ministers, and $8-Per-Gallon Presidents!

We've collected a broad sample of gas prices from throughout the industrialized Western world in the chart below. Important to note: this chart includes only official data from throughout the European Union and North America. I've included some self-reported gas prices from a handful of relevant nations below the chart.

All of the European data comes from the E.U.'s European Energy Portal website. U.S. and Canadian data come from the respective Automobile Associations.

Here are a few others countries that I thought were interesting, but for which I couldn't find official data. All of these numbers are self-reported within the past six months (unless otherwise noted) through the Gasoline-Germany website, a popular energy and petroleum forum.

  • Afghanistan: $8.04
  • Bolivia: $2.26
  • Brazil: $5.99
  • China: $4.47
  • Greenland: $7.14
  • Hong Kong: $7.67
  • India: $4.57 (for 91 octane, on July 14, 2010)
  • Iran: $1.47
  • Iraq: $1.44
  • Israel: $6.51 (on June 13, 2010)
  • Russia: $3.68
  • South Africa: $4.78
  • Venezuela: $2.62 (for 91 octane)
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An odd trend seems to be that the most of countries that have gas prices under our own, are those same countries that so many politicians routinely cite as "evil" or "undemocratic." Does Sarah Palin want our oil economy to be more like Iran and Venezuela?

From this recent chart in the Economist, you can see that the bulk of the premium costs in most European nations is due to higher taxes and duties on crude and gasoline. Many nations recognize oil as a finite resource, and are utilizing gasoline taxes to reduce oil imports, create a more efficient transportation system, and better prepare for longer-term oil price volatility.

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