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Editorial: U.S. gas goes abroad

Amid all the talk about Americaís dependence on foreign oil, many motorists probably arenít aware of this factoid: The United States is exporting a record amount of gasoline.
In September, as the Wall Street Journal recently reported, the nation exported 430,000 more barrels of gasoline than it imported. While the country still imports roughly half of the crude oil it processes, falling gasoline demand in this country, coupled with expanding refinery capacity, means that big oil companies can help fill up tanks in other parts of the world such as Brazil, Mexico and Chile, to name three top customers for U.S. gas.
Like other commodities from soy beans to silver and gold, gasoline trades in international markets. Gasoline exports help support the U.S. oil industry and the jobs it creates, while also giving a significant boost to oil company revenues. Those U.S. gasoline exports also help explain why falling fuel demand here wonít necessarily translate into lower prices at the pump. In the past decade, Chinaís rate of auto ownership has more than doubled, and many of those cars arenít nearly as fuel efficient as those on American roads.
Something to ponder next time you fume over the high price of a fill-up and wonder why gas prices always seem to go up faster than they come down.

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