Get the facts on how gasoline prices are set in the marketplace.
The government does not control the maximum retail price of gasoline. Prices are determined by the market and fluctuate according to changes in supply, demand or futures markets.
The price of crude oil accounts for more than half the price of gasoline. Crude oil prices fluctuate daily with the world financial markets.
All of the petroleum products used in Minnesota must be transported from other states or countries, and in some cases we are at the "end of the pipeline." Transportation costs are included in the price we pay at the pump. We get 80% of our crude oil from Canada and the rest from other states and overseas via the Gulf of Mexico. Nationally, about 60% of our oil comes from foreign sources.
Three refineries supply the bulk of our refined products (such as gasoline), Flint Hills and St. Paul Park Refinery in the southeast metro and Murphy Oil in Superior, Wisconsin. We also get products via three petroleum pipelines.
Our refineries are running at full capacity nearly all the time.
Two-thirds of the petroleum consumed in Minnesota is for transportation and that use continues to rise.
What causes fluctuations in gasoline prices?
Minnesota's ethanol mandate helps reduce our reliance on imported petroleum.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Weights and Measures Division is responsible for enforcing consumer protections in the gasoline industry.
What consumers can do
While an individual may not be able to influence the price of gasoline at the pump, there are things you can do to reduce your gasoline consumption and costs.
For more information, visit the following web sites:
U.S. Department of Energy: for U.S. gasoline prices and fuel efficiency information on specific vehicles: www.fueleconomy.gov
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