Why is a gallon of gas so much to start with?

Today the average price hit $4.17. That's the highest in history.

But why is it that much anyway?

Now granted the infrastructure needed to produce gasoline is huge but we haven't built any new refineries since the late 70s unless one has come online recently.

Let's look at all the other things that come in gallon jugs that you can buy cheaper.

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You can buy a gallon of milk cheaper and look at what goes into that gallon: The farmer has to produce it, tanker trucks have to pick it up, process it, put it in a gallon jug made with petroleum, and deliver it.

How about a bottle of bleach? Cheaper. Maybe we should run our cars on that. Think how good everything would smell and you could wash your hands by the tailpipe.

You can buy a gallon of beer cheaper; look at the costs with grain, fermentation, electricity, and transport.

You can buy a gallon of ranch dressing at Costco cheaper than gas.

You can buy Pepsi or coke cheaper when on sale than gas. Keep in mind too that the oil comes via pipeline in order to make the plastic.

Why don't we just fill up our cars with windshield wiper fluid? You can find that on sale for $0.99 if you look long enough.

And all of these things have to be manufactured and put in a plastic jug that also has to be manufactured with... You guessed it, Petroleum. Hydro is probably the way to go but if we switch to that, water would probably be $4.25 a gallon too. Plus we could lower the oceans that burning gas has caused to rise. I'm just saying...

See ya tomorrow at 5 a.m.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.