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Labor Day gas prices at record highs

John Dimsdale Sep 2, 2011
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Jeremy Hobson: The price of gas is near the highest level it has ever been heading into a Labor Day weekend. The national average this morning is $3.64 a gallon.

And many Americans just aren’t buying it, as Marketplace’s John Dimsdale reports.


John Dimsdale: For nine weeks straight, America’s drivers haven’t even burned up all the gasoline and diesel pumped out by domestic refineries. That means the U.S. has been a net fuel exporter.

Tom Kloza: We peaked in terms of U.S. gasoline consumption a few years ago and we’re not likely to approach those numbers regardless of population growth.

Tom Kloza is chief analyst at the Oil Price Information Service. He says the slowing demand is partly due to the idling economy. But greener cars and trucks are also having an effect.

Kloza: Fuel efficiency is unstoppable.

Yesterday, automakers reported hefty sales of smaller gasoline-sipping cars and hybrids. Jessica Caldwell follows the industry for Edmunds.com.

Jessica Caldwell: A lot of these smaller cars now are a lot more attractive than they used to be. I mean, they used to be total econo-boxes that no one really wanted. But that’s definitely not the case today.

Even though we’re using less gasoline, 80 percent of the demand comes from overseas. And as long as those economies keep growing, there will be expensive gas here at home.

In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

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