Trucks use diesel fuel not gasoline - MEMO to Wall Street Journal editors

May 28, 2008

MEMO WSJ Editorial: Your page A8 piece on spiraling fuel costs of truckers this morning is a neat enough little survey but what kind of idiot there decided to illustrate it ("Burning up: The price of gasoline in May in selected countries" in your US print edition) with a chart of gasoline prices?

Guys, here's what's under the hood of trucks - compression ignition engines, not spark ignition. Different fuel: diesel, not gasoline.

Different fuels, different markets, different prices.

Diesel also known as distillate goes as diesel for trucks, locomotives, maritime engines and also home heating oil. By contrast gasoline is just used in cars and other light duty motor vehicles. The markets are quite different and hence the prices move differently too.

Diesel fuel as recently as a couple of years ago was cheaper than gasoline in the US. This week DOE reports the US price of diesel averaged $4.732/gallon, $1.906 more than the same week a year ago. That's a price hike of 67.4% in US$s.

Gasoline? That's now $3.937/gallon nationwide average. That is up over the same time last year 72.8c/gallon, a price hike of 22.7%.

Increase in the trucker fuel of $1.91, 67%, vs your gasoline up 73c, 23%.

Forward this to the CORRECTIONS people and hope that Rupert M doesn't see it. He goes crazy over this kind of amateurism at a supposedly serious paper.

Prices from Transport Topics:

TOLLROADSnews 2008-05-28

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