Gas prices (NYMEX:RBM14) are in a constant state of flux and that is never more true than when we enter the summer driving season, which historically kicks off on Memorial Day weekend. A recent story by GasBuddy.com indicated that gas prices as we approach Memorial Day 2014 are very similar to prices at this time of year in 2012 and 2013, but that the disparity in prices is wide.
Also, some states that were on the high end of the range have shifted quite a bit from last year's levels.
While crude oil (NYMEX:CLM14) itself is the single-largest factor in determining the price of gasoline, that connection often breaks down this time of year as summer gasoline blends kick in at refineries. Added to the confusion is that the type of blend required differs by region, state and even by city.
A 2012 report showed that combined Federal and state taxes account for about 14% of the average price of gasoline, marketing and distribution costs account for 10%, and the remaining 5% covers the costs of refining according to the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM). Those figures could be a little dated as the explosion of production created by the hydraulic fracking revolution has changed some dynamics, particularly pertaining to the logistics of moving crude from the new production areas to refining centers.
Factors that determine gas prices
State-to-state and city-to-city prices can have large ranges. Here is a list of the places with the top 10 highest and the 10 lowest prices for gas by state based on data from GasBuddy.com.
Click next to see the top 10 cheapest gas prices in the country.