EIA also noted that the population of vehicles in the US capable of using E15 gasoline blends remains very small Photo by Sean KilcarrFleet Owner

EIA also noted that the population of vehicles in the U.S. capable of using E15 gasoline blends remains very small. (Photo by Sean Kilcarr/Fleet Owner)

Diesel up but gasoline down for the week

Fuel prices go in different directions, though not by much, according to EIA numbers.

Average retail diesel prices increased slightly across the country this week, while gasoline prices were more mixed, with the national average down a couple of pennies per gallon, according to data tracked by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The national average retail price for diesel increased 5/10ths of a penny this week to $2.271 per gallon, EIA said, though that is 60.7 cents per gallon cheaper when compared to the same week in 2015.

Diesel dipped along the Gulf Coast by 6/10ths of a penny to $2.131 per gallon – the only U.S. region to record a decline in diesel prices, according to the agency’s numbers – while diesel prices in the Lower Atlantic remained unchanged at $2.232 per gallon.

The biggest jump in diesel prices this week occurred in the Rocky Mountain region, EIA said, with a 2.2 cent spike to $2.277 per gallon.

Gasoline prices on a regional basis were more mixed this week, according to the agency’s figures, though the national average declined by two cents to $2.22 per gallon. That price is still 47.1 cents cheaper compared to the same week in 2015, EIA noted.

Four U.S. regions posted declines in gasoline prices this week:

  • The Lower Atlantic: down 8/10ths of a penny to $2.155 per gallon
  • The Midwest: down 6.7 cents to $2.116
  • The Gulf Coast: down 8/10ths to $1.987
  • The West Coast with California’s prices included: down 1/10th of a penny to $2.634

By contrast four other regions witnessed price increases for gasoline:

  • The Rocky Mountains: up 4.7 cents to $2.214
  • The Central Atlantic: up 1.1 cents to $2.28
  • New England: up 2 cents to $2.27
  • The West Coast with California’s prices removed: up 3.9 cents to $2.373

Where gasoline is concerned, EIA noted in a recent report gasoline containing 10% ethanol, commonly referred to as E10, now account for more than 95% of the fuel consumed in motor vehicles with gasoline engines in the U.S.

EIA added that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a partial waiver allowing the use of E15 fuel – a mixtures of 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline – in model year 2001 and newer vehicles, known as “flex fuel” vehicles, with recent EIA congressional testimony estimating that flex fuel vehicles make up about 7% (16.3 million) of the current on-road fleet of light-duty vehicles in the U.S.

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