Diesel prices drop as oil falls to six-year low

The most recent global decline in oil prices – reducing crude prices to a six-year low this week – helped pull down diesel prices in the U.S., according to data tracked by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). 

Yet several states – including Texas, North Dakota, and Oklahoma – are finding their budgets squeezed as the collapse of global crude prices is reducing their oil tax revenues, the agency noted.

The national average retail pump price for diesel decreased 2.7 cents this week to $2.917 per gallon, EIA said, which is $1.086 per gallon cheaper when compared to the same week in 2014.

Diesel declined in every region of the country except for the Rocky Mountains, which witnessed a 1.1 cent increase to $2.812 per gallon this week, the agency reported.

Diesel remains above the $3-per-gallon mark in five areas this week, according to the agency’s numbers:

  • The East Coast at $3.082, down 2.3 cents from last week;
  • New England at $3.270, down 6.2 cents (which is also the largest one-week regional decline in diesel prices);
  • The Central Atlantic at $3.311, down 2.2 cents;
  • The West Coast at $3.069, down 3.2 cents (though that shifts to $2.894 following a 3.3 cent decline with California removed from the mix);
  • California at $3.202, down 3.1 cents.

However, EIA pointed out that the decline in spot oil prices in the last half of 2014 and first month of 2015 is reducing oil and natural gas production tax revenues in some of the largest oil- and natural gas-producing states across the country.

Texas, North Dakota, Alaska, and Oklahoma are four of the five top oil- and natural gas-producing states in the nation, deriving a significant share of their unrestricted operating revenues from taxes on oil and natural gas production.

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