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The U.S. Energy Information Administration on July 7 released diesel prices covering a three-week reporting delay caused by a network problem.
The national average price for diesel fell 10.8 cents to $5.675 a gallon last week. This marks the second consecutive week of diesel price declines. It now costs $2.344 more per gallon than it did at this time in 2021. Those numbers were originally scheduled for release July 4.
EIA reported that all 10 regions in its weekly survey posted lower week-over-week prices. The Midwest region saw the biggest drop in diesel cost at 12 cents to $5.647 a gallon. The Gulf Coast and New England regions followed with 11.1-cent declines. The Rocky Mountain saw the smallest drop, 3.8 cents to $5.732. California has the most expense diesel at $6.779 despite dropping 8.4 cents.
U.S. On-Highway Diesel Fuel Prices
Diesel prices for the other two weeks in the delay also were released. The national average was $5.783 a gallon for the June 27 report and $5.81 for June 20. Diesel was at $5.718 a gallon as of June 13.
EIA first issued a notice about the impending release of the delayed diesel prices July 6.
“This publication will include diesel price data for June 20, June 27 and July 4, which had been delayed as a result of a hardware failure,” an agency spokesperson told Transport Topics. “We will then return to publishing the full weekly gasoline and diesel fuel update on our regular schedule.”
EIA previously said the delays were the result of a voltage irregularity that caused hardware failures on two of its main processing servers. The issue prevented the processing and release of several different reports.
We've published our delayed data for U.S. on-highway #diesel prices:— EIA (@EIAgov) July 7, 2022
More info and regional breakdowns available here: https://t.co/nilC5gnKy3 pic.twitter.com/OczLNPfDQj
The source of the problem was discovered June 17. The hardware has since been replaced and data from backup systems has been transferred to new servers.
National diesel and gasoline prices usually are released together on a weekly basis. The most recent regularly scheduled date would have been July 5. The agency noted at the time it still was running additional systems testing for the collection and calculation of the data. It was able to get out gas prices the week prior, June 29, after a two-week delay.
This week, gas prices were released during their regularly scheduled time July 4. Currently, the national average is $4.771 a gallon after dropping 10.1 cents. Prices decreased in nine of the 10 regions, the exception being the Rocky Mountain. Gas was $5.006 a gallon before the delays started June 13.
EIA was able to collect data throughout the outage and subsequent restoration. The agency has released other reports that were scheduled for publication during the delay. Those include the monthly energy review, weekly natural gas storage report, petroleum supply monthly and state energy data system. It still is addressing issues with the hourly electric grid monitor.
President Joe Biden has called on lawmakers to suspend the federal gas tax for three months. The federal government’s tax on gas is 18.4 cents per gallon and for diesel it’s 24.4 cents. He also has ordered the release of millions of barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and has put pressure on refiners to boost output. U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm met with oil company executives June 23.
“That meeting went very well,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a press briefing July 5. “We think that was a first step. There’s going to be more conversations. We just don’t have more to share on the next steps, specific next steps, and what has been presented to the president.
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“But clearly, we’re looking for solutions. We want to get that capacity up. We want to make sure that refineries are increasing their capacity so that we can get gasoline out there, we can get diesel out there.”
Biden has blamed the rising fuel costs on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. responded with sanctions and a stop on oil imports from the country. Russia is a major global exporter of fuel and has pressured countries still importing its oil to trade in the ruble, a move likely intended to stabilize its currency and economy against sanctions.
Many states also raised gas taxes July 1 that increased prices at the pump even more. These taxes are mostly intended to fund transportation projects. The states are California, Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, South Carolina and Virginia.
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