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December 2010 Monthly Motor Fuel Reported by States

Note to users of monthly motor-fuel "retail price" data

Beginning with the January 1997 issue, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reinstitued motor fuel price data using data collected by the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration (EIA) as the source for Table MF-5, "Retail Prices of Motor Fuel". The IEA Table 31 - "Motor Gasoline Prices by Grade, Sales Type, PAD District (Cents per Gallon Excluding Taxes)" will be used as the base information for the FHWA Table MF-5. The EIA data, which is based on the EIA-782 survey, was implemented in 1983 to fulfill EIA legislative requirements and community data needs. The FHWA will follow EIA protocols and requirements in making the data available to "Monthly Motor Fuel" customers.

Because the "Sales to End Users- Through Retail Outlets" data does not include Federal, State, and local taxes, FHWA will add Federal motor fuel taxes to the EIA data. Federal Highway User Taxes (Table FE-21B) and State Tax Rates on Motor Fuel (Table MF-121T) are the FHWA sources for this data. Excluded from the total are other taxes such as local taxes and sales taxes applied to motor fuel, etc.

Users of Table MF-5 should consult the "Explanatory Notes" of the EIA Publication "Petroleum Marketing Monthly" (DOE/EIA-0380) before making use of the retail price information. The "Explanatory Notes" contain important information on the design of the sample, the continuity of the data, collection methods, processing, non-disclosure, and revisions.

Pre-January 1997 retail price data was furnished by a source other than EIA. Because the sample design, collection methods, processing, and other data considerations differ between the two sources, users are particularly cautioned not to make direct comparisons of the data using previous MF-5 retail price data for any trend line comparisons.

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Marsha Reynolds
Office of Highway Policy Information
202-366-5029
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United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration