April 28th, 2008 at 5:40pm
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There are a lot of misconceptions about diesel fuel, but here’s my attempt to straighten out a couple of them.
A lot of people are wondering why diesel fuel is more expensive than gasoline. I hear them say that it’s cheaper to make diesel because refineries crack it at lower temperatures. And they say because it’s not as highly refined as gasoline that we get more gallons of diesel out of a barrel of oil.
But here’s the reality. Every oil refinery makes a variety of what they call distillates. And they build refineries to have a “sweet spot” so it maximizes a certain product — like maximizing it for gasoline, or maximizing it for diesel.
So diesel is not cheaper to make and you don’t get more of it per barrel. The problem with diesel is that we don’t make nearly as much of it as we do gasoline. And that is the real reason why it costs more.