Gas Prices Around the World

Here's a sampling of gasoline prices per gallon outside the United States in 2005:

Amsterdam: $6.48

London: $5.79

Paris: $5.54

Tokyo: $4.24

Beirut: $2.63

Riyadh: $0.91

Kuwait City: $0.78

Caracas: $0.12

A lot of the cost to Europeans can be attributed to taxes. The tax rate on gas in France, for example, is about 400 percent higher than that in the United States. For some idea of just how much less U.S. drivers pay for gasoline compared to Europeans, check out this chart. See that line way down below all the others? Yep, that's us.

On the other end of the spectrum are several countries with rich oil reserves that happen to be controlled by the government. In oil-producing Venezuela, not only is gasoline not taxed, the government practically gives it away. (At 12 cents a gallon, Venezuelan drivers would get approximately 230 miles per U.S. dollar.)

In the United States, subsidizing gasoline down to Venezuelan levels would be completely unrealistic. But should the U.S. government lower taxes or implement price controls to ease the burden on American drivers? Or are gas prices too low already, as David Ignatius argues? Should the government take drastic steps to lower consumption by bringing gas taxes closer to European levels?

By Emily Messner |  April 4, 2006; 2:28 PM ET  | Category:  International
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10% increase in oil tax per year. See how the consumers respond. We need the revenue.

Posted by: Will | April 4, 2006 03:00 PM

So what is the debate topic here? The price of gas before taxes? The taxing of gas? Neither is spelled out as to what part of the total cost is what other than to say Venezuela has no tax and Europe has higher taxes than the US. Maybe if you provided driving habits, fuel efficiencies in each country, etc... we could make some coorelations. But the data in and of itself is not anything to debate.

Posted by: Sully | April 4, 2006 03:24 PM

Sigh. Che, I thought we were making progress?

Posted by: Freedom | April 4, 2006 04:02 PM

Gas is $3 a gallon in San Juan County, of the largest gas basins in the nation in the heart of awol and 5D county. cleve

Posted by: cleve | April 4, 2006 06:22 PM

I've been wondering if our country could produce enough "alternative" fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol to satisfy current demand, or if we will always have to use a measurable amount of petroleum. Perhaps someone on this site who is either smarter than I or has better access to this information could answer this question.

Of course, one thing that I can forsee already is if we are able to satisfy our demand for portable energy from crops, (corn or potatos for ethanol and oilseeds for biodiesel), there will be those who will bitterly complaign that we are removing food from starving people's mouths.

Insofar as fuel transportation taxes go, the ones on gasoline are probably about right, while the diesel fuel tax should be at least quadrupled, based on the damage that semi's do to our roads. Of course, truckers will veheminiatly deny this as they wish to still work in a subsidized industry. Also, why is it that when comparing the U.S. fuel taxes to those of other nations it doesn't seem to be ever taken into account the vast distances we need to cover here in the U.S. that the more highly taxed nations don't have?

Posted by: Curious | April 4, 2006 06:31 PM

Jeeze, Che - knock it off. I just read your post, above. It's the first post by you that I've bothered to read in the months I've been visiting this blog. Why? Because they're too lengthy and they're copied material. Please offer a comment and a link - otherwise, I'll just breeze right past you like I always do. Tell people what you think, and support your argument by providing links to your evidence. better yet, try sound reasoning.

That said, I find the article provides an interesting lesson regarding the political leanings of the Right Wing Establishment or "Main Stream" media (the straw man "liberal media" and it's alleged bias towads conservatives is just that - a straw man).

Had such a loose set of connections between criminals and politicians (an increasingly difficult distinction) been established during the Clinton administration, the washington post would have been tripping all over itself to fan the flames.

Nowadays, we have major scandal happening within the ruling party of our country, and the best the post can do is this lame-ass headline: "DeLay Announces Plans To Resign From House"; followed by an equally lame story citing Lay's "ethical troubles", "legal difficulties", and "alleged ethics violations".

Remember Vincent Foster? Remember Whitewater? Big stories about nothing.

Now we're being fed small, fluffy, obligatory sounding, stories about big things.

Clue to the post: you're supposed to be the first to dig and disseminate the dirt. You're going to be scooped if you don't get on the ball.

As for the price of gas, an old addage holds true: Who gives a damn about the price of tea in China?

Posted by: smafdy | April 4, 2006 06:58 PM

our lab rat spoke of changes waiting to go in in Detroit that would give SUV's 35 mpg..

they'd probably put those changes in place if they couldn't move the ones that got 17 mpg...

if the money, rise in gas prices is banked by "taxing" then the account could be earmarked towards solving our current oil funding a solution....

simply advertising that we need to be fuel concious, would go a long ways towards creating the public atmosphere of compliance...

look what they were able to do in creating a fear of an nonexistent terrorist force out to get us....

as we got invaded by 12 million dark skinnned, black haired terrorists that have been bombing us silently by stealing our jobs...

about that, arrest those that hire,

arresting and prosecuting about 500 hiring people, should pretty much eliminate any burgeoning market, and give the rednecks and former cotton, furniture, and tobacco workers a chance to find work...or even summer college students painting houses like in the old days...

remember college students used to do construction for summer work?

hawking urban living, city planning, raising prices for most on gasoline...will create a _need_ to conserve...

you got a hummer and it costs you $150 a week to commute, you might donate it to the fire department...


with any issue, illegal immigration, gasoline prices...

someone is going to be pissed,

I could care less...

how pissed do you think all of the people are that got

or had their jobs move overseas

I'm ready to piss off some owners, and rich people...

since it's a tax, you could give seniors a break, especially the ones that fought in WWII who have Social Security as their ownly income...

whatever it's workable, just do it...

I'm tired of letting the military run our country...

I'm all for having a strong military, I'm not to hot on letting PNAC

direct our country,

and if I had some clout, I'd arrest the people that foisted a "war" on us when the real goal is to use the defense department as the solution to every "problem"

and the reich to use the defense department as their feudal rent-a-cop service...

national guard in Iraq?

what for...they should be here, in case we need em..


Posted by: A smart congress and president would make taxing gas out of the range of frivolousness a national pl | April 4, 2006 11:24 PM


Much of the answer to your question is available if you search online. A good place to start is the national resources defense council website.

We are nowhere near close to zero fossil fuel for transportation. ANd only half our oil use in the US is for transportation - there is the synthetics/plastics market as well where the other half goes and that is rarely considered (but ought to be). But we are not so far from being able to slash imports enough to be able to control the market and make the sellers think twice about whether or not they are driving their customers away.

First mileage standards. Congress shot down tightening them after 9-11. The Righties put out all kinds of papers saying those tiny little foreign jobs getting 50 mpg are unsafe in a collision with your Hummer and don't fit supersize American bodies. But it is all a lie. Japan is indeed making perfectly comfortable and safe hybrids, even, as said earlier on this thread a minivan, that gets more than 40 mpg. Maybe their engineers didn't get left behind in school and are smarter than ours. America is desperate to save oil, yet Detroit can't make a decent hybrid and is going broke. What is wrong with this picture? Acording to the NRDC if all passenger cars got 40 mpg we would slash persian gulf imports by 80%, gradually of course as the number of hybrids ramped up.

We could lop off a few more percent with campaigns to educate the public about tire pressure, replacement tires, etc.

We could cut persian gulf oil imports by 40% simply by recycling all our recyclable paper.

You'll note this adds up to more than 100% of current persiangulf imports, and no one has mentioned those evil words conservation, public transportation or God forbid, walking or driving a Geo metro. Or the effect of slashing our plastic use in useless packaging.

I dont' have the alternate fuelnumbers at my fingertips and don't have time to look now. I suggest starting in the NRDC website.

Now Chris Ford will chime in and say the US uses some quadrillion watts of energy a year and that we are nowhere near being fossil free. He is right, but misleading. Less than 5% of America's oil is used to produce kilowatt hours of power. You can indeed separate out oil, used almost exclusively for transportation and to manufacture plastics in the US, from heat and light power plant production, which uses coal, water, nuclear and natural gas. We can indeed ramp down oil imports separately from natural gas imports and coal mining and nuclear power.

My parting shot is hydrogen fuel cells, which combine hydrogen and oxygen and make water and power. Although it is possible to get the hydrogen from water, it is not efficient enough. The only current efficient way to obtain hydrogen is from hydrocarbons. So the Bush's get to keep raking it in and keep us dependent on their friend Prince Bandahar by pushing hydrogen and ignoring hybrids. But, the law of unintended consequences must be considered. Pollution actually helps to fight the greenhouse effect some by pollution particles in clouds reflecting the sun's rays back into space. Hydrogen cells, and the nuclear power plants that will be necessary to get the power to make the hydrogen cells, create heat without pollution, which might accellerate the greenhouse effect.

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Posted by: Greenie | April 5, 2006 01:20 AM

Ah, but one tends to forget that most foreign countries use the 'liter' as a form of measurement. Now, if you're comparing the two, my dictionary says that I'd be getting a little more fuel for my imperial gallon...all of which is nit-picking...suffice it to say, WE, if we're going to continue to drive our "ever lovable" automobiles/SUV's, etc, SOMEONE iw going to have to step up to the plate and provide vehicles with less consumption per mile, or we'll all be walking...or at least making a concentraited effort to drive less...Wouldn't it be beneficial, health wise, if we'd all take to walking more and eating less...

Posted by: William Goodnight | April 6, 2006 10:41 AM

European gas prices per gallon, compared to ours, are clearly higher but I see no mention of how many more mpg both gasoline and diesel engines deliver. And the most recent [German] diesel vehicle I leased, in 2004, gave outstanding performance and excellent mileage. So, I spent more per tank of fuel but I paid for fewer tanks of fuel [during 4 weeks of travel in 3 countries] than I would have for the same kinds of driving in the U.S.

Posted by: Jelula | April 10, 2006 06:50 PM

Prices here in Motown where I live are nearly $3/gallon. Heard of Ethos FR manufactured by Ethos Environmental Inc.? I suggest we all get a bottle of it for starters.

Our government uses Ethos FR to reformulate its fuel and other fluids in its military vehicles. The Chinese Government uses it to run their
fleets. Ethos Environmental Inc. and its distributors have never focused on the end consumer... they have always focused on group sales...mostly to governments
and large commercial fleets.
-- Ethos will never be in retail stores, never be in Walmart... 4-ECorp is the retail end consumer marketing arm for Ethos.
-- Ethos is going public soon. (Go to put in symbol vici)
--The product is real... it is patented (patent Number 4,920,691)... it works... timing couldn't be better...
-- A billion miles have been driven using EthosFR, in road tests by commercial carriers.
-- Product is bio-degradable, non-toxic and comes from renewable resources.
-- Great credibilty with CBS and FOX news putting ETHOS to the test on TV.

It available now to the general I said get some Ethos FR until, while and after gas prices stabilize. Most folks can't afford a new
hybrid car or other cost-efficient vehicle right now.

Plus, we've got to use what we've GOT whatever the price of gas or the potential for tax breaks or not...

Posted by: 3girlsmomma | April 20, 2006 08:53 PM

I agree with the comments re EthosFr. It will change our world one vehicle at a time! We owe it to our children and grandchildren to do something about our environment now. See my site at

We can all breathe easier and have more $$ in our wallet....EthosFr is here!

Posted by: Barb | April 26, 2006 12:27 AM

A lot of misinformation above. Patent # 4,920,691 expired several years ago. There is no reputable citation for any government using the product. The comapny itself is careful not to make real claims (all claims are made by 'users' and sales agents wanting to make money). If this product worked, then the best sales outlet would be Walmart--but big lawsuits would ensue if the product didn't work.
If you really want to leave your children and grandchildren an environmentally sound world--then walk more and drive less; savings for everybody.

Posted by: Scam-Alert | May 1, 2006 01:27 PM

That is just one patent of many. As stated in this article,, Enrique - founder - has over 15 patents for various environmental products. You can't ignore the facts.

Posted by: Scott | May 8, 2006 03:54 PM

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