Will there be a substitute for gasoline and diesel anytime soon? While alternatives are available, petroleum fuels still hold several advantages over alternative fuels. No other fuel can compare to gasoline and diesel in cost, availability, convenience and energy content. Emissions from newer formulations compare favorably with those produced by alternative fuels.
In a nutshell, gasoline is cheaper than bottled water. How is this possible when petroleum is a nonrenewable resource? Well, there is a lot of crude oil in the world, and with new technology petroleum companies keep finding more. More crude supply promotes competition and keeps prices down. Keep in mind that when you fill your tank, federal, state and local taxes average about 41 cents per gallon of the total pump price. Total taxes on diesel fuels average 47 cents per gallon.
Gasoline specifications have evolved along with automobile technology. In the last decade, Congress has mandated additional changes through regulations on automobiles and fuels. These changes have improved the nation's air quality by dramatically reducing automobile tailpipe and evaporative emissions. In fact, partially due to these rules, today's automobiles emit 97 percent less than cars manufactured 20 years ago.
Recently the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established new rules for automobiles and fuels to further reduce emissions. EPA's most recent rules mandate dramatic reductions in the sulfur content of gasoline and diesel. New automobile and fuel manufacturing technologies to reduce air pollution and increase fuel efficiency are costly, so fuel prices are likely to be higher in coming years.
Petroleum and automobile companies are working together to develop new automobile transportation systems. Hybrid Electric Vehicles and Fuel Cells are the latest of these new technologies, and research so far promises to increase fuel efficiency while reducing tailpipe emissions.Where CITGO Stands
Petroleum will remain the most cost-effective transportation energy for many decades to come. As demand for energy grows, industry's challenge is to develop new fuels that burn cleaner and more efficiently. To accomplish this, refineries today are being upgraded continuously with new technologies applied to improve manufacturing processes. All these new processes and products will benefit both consumers and the environment.
Under continuous pressure from the EPA to reduce nitrous oxides and hydrocarbon emissions to meet the new national ozone standard, many states have mandated their own fuel specifications. Today, more than 120 different grades of fuels (10 times the number transported in 1985) are delivered from the refinery to the customer. The bottom line is that there's no room for additional fuel types in the system's pipelines and storage tanks. CITGO would like to see a reduction in these state "boutique" fuels because they restrict and limit the distribution system.