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February 25, 2013

Latest News / Published Column
February 25, 2013

Fuel and Gas Prices are Breaking the Bank! Why does fuel and gas prices constantly fluctuate?

Terry from Alabama:

Dear Toni,

I am a truck driver for a large worldwide company; I drive approximately 3000 miles per week, fuel cost were costing approximately $1.75 per mile but now it is costing anywhere from $2.40 to $2.75 per mile that is the price today Feb. 20, 2013 that’s the price if you are not diving in States like California where fuel costs are higher.

I just recently stopped in Alabama to fuel up now mind you that my truck was half full, it would have costs me $1,100 just 2 weeks ago and today it cost me $1,800. And not only did I pay more for fuel, I also had a $140.00 credit card fee charge.

So saying all of this I have several questions.

1. Why does fuel and gas prices constantly fluctuate?

2. Why am I being charged a credit card fee?

3. Isn’t charging for the credit fee against the law?

4. Is the credit card fee tax deductible?

5. Can they and why doesn’t the United States Government do something about gas prices at the pump?

Thanks Terry

Dear Terry,

Wow! you put some miles on the road. And you are right fuel prices are hurting everyone.

1. Why does fuel and gas prices constantly fluctuate?

Terry there is several reason fuel prices constantly fluctuate.

The price of gasoline at the consumer level is the result of a combination of factors. These factors include breaks in the distribution network, as we saw happen in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, BP explosion and general instability in major oil producing regions such as South America and the Middle East. Combined with increased demand around the world and state and federal taxes. And oil companies profitability. When Americans reduce consumption oil companies reduce profits and stock holders lose more of their profit.

Crude oil prices are determined by worldwide supply and demand, with significant influence by the Oil Producing and Exporting Countries (OPEC) as they determine how much oil to produce and sell to other countries. The more crude oil OPEC chooses to produce and release, the lower the price. Additionally, because oil is traded in a world market, events in remote areas affect the price of crude oil for almost everyone.

Check out J. Randy Forbes Congressman forbes.house.gov

2. Why am I being charged a credit card fee?

Beginning Jan 27, 2013, store owners in most states—including Idaho—will be able to charge shoppers a surcharge of up to 4 percent of the bill for using a credit card. The change is due to a 2012 U.S. District Court ruling in New York that allowed merchants to pass along fees to customers that credit card issuers charge merchants. The new customer charges are not permitted everywhere: shoppers are off the hook in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.

3. Isn’t charging for the credit fee against the law?

No it is now allowed in most states. The list of states that are not permitted to pass the charge on to consumers are above.
4. Is the credit card fee tax deductible?

Yes it is to businesses. But it is not tax deductible at this point for individuals, like credit card interest and most banking fees are not tax deductible.

5. Can they and why doesn’t the United States Government do something about gas prices at the pump?

Yes the United States government can do things to help. Like becoming more energy independent like offshore drilling, opening the Keystone pipeline to deliver oil from the tar sands of Canada to refineries in Houston, Increasing exploration of natural gas, Aggressively pursuing renewable energy development, and comprehensive solutions like the New Manhattan Project that bring together scientists and researchers in the U.S. in a competitive format for innovative solutions but that takes time, you will not see an immediate change.

And not only would it help reduce fuel cost and fuel independence in the future but it would create quality jobs that the United States needs now.

This has been a problem for many years, not just now and the United States Government just seems to prefer to kick the can down the road on many issues not just on the cost of fuel.

Everyone needs to open up and say something, in the United States and around the world, fuel prices should not be this high. The high prices needs to stop but only “WE THE PEOPLE” can make a difference.

So write to your state senators the more that people force our elected officials to do something about it then maybe something will be done.

Terry

I hope I answered your questions,gas prices are a really big deal that affects everything in life, and we need a solution.

Be careful out there on the road and thanks for your questions.

You can follow Coach Toni House on Coach Me Radio The Sky By CBS

Toni * www.SaveYourMoneySaveYourFamily.com

Join SAVE YOUR MONEY with Toni House every Monday @ 5 pm ET on COACH ME RADIO on CBS!

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