A Gallon Of Gasoline Is Now Cheaper Than Sparkling Water

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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Gasoline is cheap. So cheap that a gallon of gas costs 89 cents less than a gallon of sparkling water, and more than $1 less than a gallon of Pepsi, according to economist Mark Perry with the American Enterprise Institute.

“When gasoline is the cheapest liquid you buy (except maybe for some bottled water),” Perry wrote on his blog. “You know that gasoline is a real bargain at $2, just as it would be at $4!”

“It’s something of a miracle and an amazing blessing that gasoline is so cheap, and something we should all stop and appreciate the next time we stop at the pump and fill up our cars with one of the cheapest consumer liquids on the planet, perhaps while drinking some $28 per gallon Red Bull!” Perry added.

Gasoline prices have plummeted more than $1 from a year ago, according to AAA Fuel Gauge, from $3.28 to $2.05 on Wednesday. Prices have fallen because of huge decreases in the price of oil, which has fallen from about $100 per barrel this summer to about $48 per barrel in the new year. Energy forecasters say oil prices could average $53 per barrel in 2015.

Gas station in more than half of U.S. states now sell gas for less than $2 a gallon, a welcome relief to drivers and a boost to businesses that spend huge amounts on fuel. But consumers be even more thankful as gasoline (even at higher prices) is still cheaper than buying a gallon of sparkling water. Buying a gallon of gas is only a fraction of the price of buying a gallon of vodka or half and half cream.

“At a cost of $18 for about 15 milliliters of ink in a cartridge, that works out to more than $4,500 per gallon for the ink you use in your deskjet or inkjet printer,” wrote Perry. “Some of the other more pricey liquids on the list are Nyquil, which costs more than $100 per gallon based on a cost of 84 cents per ounce, and premium vodka at a price of more than $75 per gallon when you’re paying $30 for 1500 ML.”

Even more surprising is that a gallon of gasoline is even cheaper than buying a gallon of milk. A gallon of gas only costs $2.05 on average while a gallon of milk costs $4 — nearly twice the cost of gas.

“Your mouthwash, shampoo and hair gel will set you back anywhere between $15 and $45 per gallon,” Perry added. “Orange juice is almost $12 per gallon and milk is almost twice as expensive as gas today at $4 per gallon.”

“Sure, you can find some bottled water cheaper than $2 per gallon, but then consider that the price of gas includes an average of almost 50 cents per gallon in federal and state taxes, and I’ll bet that you’ll find almost no other liquid that you buy is cheaper than gas at today’s price of $2.05 per gallon (and about $1.55 before taxes),” he wrote.

So next time you go fill up your car, says Perry, remember to thank oil companies for low-priced gasoline. It’s way cheaper than many other products we use everyday and never blink an eye at.

“We should also thank America’s risk-taking petropreneurs who spent billions of dollars and many decades trying to ‘crack the code’ that eventually unlocked oceans of unconventional oil trapped in shale rock formations miles below the ground that had previously been inaccessible,” Perry wrote.

“Thanks at least in part to the revolutionary drilling technologies of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, we now have the cheapest gas in history when adjusted for increased fuel economy and higher wages,” he said.

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