Where do I start?
Europe HAS had high gas prices as a matter of public policies for decades. There are several reasons for this. First is the size of the countries themselves.
Small pieces of ground with high populations. Very crowded by our US standards.
Very well rounded and comprehensive transportation systems. Trains that go everywhere, on time, some at super fast speeds. Comprehensive urban commuter trains, trams, buses that are very efficient. People are encouraged to use these systems. Major cities have comprehensive, usually underground people moving systems, called different names but are very efficient and tie in well with the suburban transportation systems making for an easy commute.
Airlines, but they are more a matter of a countries desire to be seen as world players. But there are Intra country commuter airlines that go to most major cities. Then you can take a train to final destination.
Car industries that are geared to building small automobiles to somehow fit in old crowded cities with limited space.
HIGH fuel prices tend to make people park cars and USE the public transportation systems. It's a matter of PUBLIC POLICY and the citizens understand this and readily accept that policy. On the other hand WE, in the US of A, have neglected virtually any form of public transportation that interfers with driving cars. Except in some big cities, there is no other way to move around in any efficient way without a car. THAT IS A VERY BAD POLICY IMO :!:
I lived in FRANCE for 7 years way back when??? and the expensive gasoline prices at the pump was the policy then as it is now. All the other countries around generally have the same policies.
Actually the PRICES for RAW CRUDE is the same for everyone and THAT CRUDE OIL IS TRADED on the WORLD FREE TRADING MARKET. Simply put consumers/ refiners etc that buy vast quantities of oil pay the same for crude but the price differential between the US and European countries is TAXES. Really, almost anyone can buy a shipload of crude if so desired. THE CHINESE ARE BUYING and BUYING A LOTTA OIL from everywhere and anywhere. THEY GOTTA SPEND ALL THAT MONEY COMMIN' IN FROM ALL THAT JUNK THAT WE BUY AT MOSTLY WALMART. Us, and others including Europeans. Actually the Chinese have run up the steel prices because they are buying all the steel scrap and raw ore at almost any price it seems. I looking to the future would be more concerned about the Chinese and not fret so much about the Mexicans.
For current prices of RAW crude watch CNBC. Crude is trading at $ 74.50 per barrel, 42 gallons as I write.
Gold is at $ 631.00 PER OUNCE. Copper, steel, aluminum, all metals are outta sight right now.
Brace yourselves FOR EVEN HIGHER and staying HIGHER fuel prices in times to come, making THAT 350 CHEVVY financially painful to own and drive.
Perhaps, with high crude prices, there will finally be some reliable alternate fuel scoming on stream and that would be a good thing.