High gas prices crippling European growth

Or so says Andris Piebalgs, the European Union’s energy commissioner. Gas prices in Europe are currently at the equivalent of $6.62/gallon, more than twice the average price of a gallon of go-juice in the U.S. Imagine paying $72.82 to fill your 11-gallon gas tank, or how about $125 to fill your 20-gallon tank? Though we in the U.S. cry foul at $3/gallon gas, Europeans can only remember with envy those days when fuel didn’t cost a day’s wage. Meanwhile fuel-dependant companies are passing the extra costs right down the line to consumers.

One interesting note is that taxes comprise 66% of the cost of fuel in Europe. As of 2005 gas in the U.S. carried with it federal, state and local taxes that ranged anywhere from 32.9 cents to 62.9 cents per gallon. New York’s combined gas tax is the highest in the nation at near 63 cents/gallon, which means at last week’s price of $2.914/gallon about 29%, or less than half the amount of taxes Europeans pay, went to the government.

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