Google, “Why is gas more expensive in Europe?” I never expect a complete answer by googling, but it is a quick and dirty way to begin to answer a question. Plus, the answers you get tend to be amusing. Consider this, from “It’s That Guy”:
Europeans realize the real cost of gasoline is more than its cost at the pump, so they have always put heavy taxes on it. This encourages less use, smaller cars, more use of public transportation. Part of this is that no European country (except Finland) produces its own gas so it was always an imported item.
In the US we wanted to -encourage- people to use gas. Our two most powerful industries were cars and gas, and road building was up there in the top 10 at one point. And for the first 100 years or so the great majority of our oil was from right here. So we never taxed gas or energy as much. Now that we are importing most of our energy and oil is $100/barrel, we should consider raising taxes on gas to get people to consider smaller cars and more public transportation and other alternatives.
Also, when you talk about the price we pay for gas, you have to include a big expensive war in the Gulf every 10 years.
What an amazing grasp of economics and history! I especially enjoyed the part about a big expensive war in the Gulf every ten years. It seems it’s about time for another one.
Now, consider the last answer on the page:
This answer is no more or less helpful than the answer given by “It’s That Guy”, but it certainly is without the smug self-righteousness.