In a free economy, the price of anything and everything at anytime, is determined by supply and demand. In a controlled economy, there are other factors–most pertinently, taxes–that play a part. All of this is shown in the “What’s Driving Gas Prices Today” infographic. It does answer some questions, but leave others open.
For example, it is stated that each state or region can have different average prices (even when coming from the same providers). However, it also states that there are different formulations for different regions and there are, of course, different state and local tax rates. Thus, we can infer that these are factors in the differing prices.
Severe weather events, such as the horrific and record-breaking snowfall–covering Boston (and other cities) much like Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans–can affect supply. This, in theory, ought to increase prices. However, there does not appear to be any noticeable (if any) uptick in prices. Perhaps countervailing characteristics are making a bigger impact in price. The U.S. is now less dependent on OPEC and has discovered major sources of oil (in North Dakota, if our research and interpretation are correct).
Global economic development is a factor in demand, and this may be what is driving down the costs of gas as we are seeing today. Both China and India need enormous amounts of oil and gas for their populations and manufacturers and suppliers tend to lower prices in order to appeal to those who desire the product.
Likes: Simple and detailed infographic, quite educational.
Dislikes: There is no attempt to go into the specific socio-political factors. However, that may require an extensive and lengthy study, not just a pithy infographic.