Comptroller of Maryland. Serving the People. Peter Franchot, Comptroller
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Gas Consumer Tips

Looking for cheap gas?

Check out one of these Web sites below to compare local gas prices:

Looking for ways to conserve gas?

Take public transportation, join a carpool and use hiker and biker trails whenever possible.

Need help pumping gas?

Visit Maryland Department of Transportation Access to Gas Pumpsto find a local gas station that offers assistance to consumers with disabilities.

Think you purchased bad fuel?

Tell us. Field inspectors for the Comptroller of Maryland are responsible for monitoring the transportation and storage of motor fuel, and verifying that retail locations are complying with regulations governing pricing, labeling and registration. Inspectors collect fuel samples and they are tested at the Motor Fuel Testing Laboratory in Jessup to ensure quality standards including octane levels. Any sub-standard or inaccurately labeled product is removed from the marketplace until the problem is corrected. E-mail fed@comp.state.md.us to report fuel price disparities or fuel problems.

Unsure about pump accuracy?

If you feel a particular gas pump may not be giving you all the gas you are paying for, report it to the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA). While the Comptroller's Office inspects fuel, the MDA is charged with making sure gas pumps and meters are accurate. If you think the amount of fuel you received falls short of the amount you purchased, contact the MDA's Weights and Measures Division at 410-841-5790.

Need to report a fuel spill?

If you need to report a fuel spill or leak, contact the Maryland Department of the Environment's Oil Control Program at 410-537-3442.

What makes up the price of a gallon of gasoline?

Crude oil costs: 68% of the cost of a gallon of gasoline directly reflects the cost that refiners pay to obtain the crude oil.
Refining costs: 8% of the cost of a gallon of gasoline reflects the costs to refine the crude oil, making it useful to consumers.
Federal and state taxes: 13% of the cost of a gallon of gasoline is made up of federal and state taxes, but does not include county or local taxes.
Distribution and marketing: 11% of the cost of a gallon of gasoline is made up of distribution, marketing and retail dealer costs.

Most gasoline is shipped by pipeline to consuming areas and then loaded into trucks for delivery at individual gas stations. The price reflects the retailer's purchase cost and operating costs associated with the service station. Additionally, the price can reflect the desirability of the station's location or the station owner's marketing strategies.
Note: This breakdown of the cost of a gallon of regular gasoline is based on the December 2012 average retail price of $3.31/gallon.

Why do gasoline prices fluctuate?

Gasoline prices can fluctuate for a variety of reasons including a change in seasons, natural disasters, local retail station competition, disruptions in the crude oil supply triggered by world events and/or refinery or pipeline outages.

Source: Energy Information Administration.



 
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