Taxes drive diesel fuel prices up


Summer is upon us, and we know what that means: Those of us who want to hop in our car for a road trip will pay the price. We already have been warned that gasoline prices could hit $4 a gallon this year. Predictably, questions related to gasoline prices are being raised. Here's the first one I've received.

From Tony: I would like to know the real reason why diesel fuel is more expensive than regular gasoline. Diesel costs so much less to refine than gasoline. Diesel fuel is what moves products and produce coast-to-coast by rail and trucking. It's no wonder our shopping bills are higher.

It's all about taxes, Tony. In the United States, an extra 6 percent federal tax is placed on diesel fuel, and it's likely to increase by year's end. Michael Geeser, spokesman for AAA, said a federal law passed in 2006 requires 80 percent of diesel fuel to meet cleaner emissions standards. The new requirements must be met by the end of the year.

Diesel, which this month costs 13 cents more per gallon than gasoline, is in high-demand commercially because it is used to ship and transport goods. While it's not heavily used by consumers in the United States, it is in places such as Europe and India.

Wendy is concerned about herself and fellow motorists: How many accidents need to occur before a speed limit change is made on Anthem Parkway? Although the limit is 45 mph, it is common for motorists to travel at 60-plus mph. I see speed traps along Green Valley Parkway every day. Why aren't there any along Anthem?

Actually, Wendy, Anthem Parkway has been targeted by the Henderson Police Department, spokesman Keith Paul said.

Patrol officers zeroed in on Anthem near Dewar Highlands on March 24 and 25, issuing 14 citations. They hit Anthem from Democracy Drive to Bicentennial Parkway on March 27 and again last week, handing out another 14 citations, Paul said.

If you see other traffic problems in Henderson, head to the Web site at cityofhenderson.com and click on Contact Henderson to submit your complaint. The Henderson police also has a hot line that is closely monitored at 267-5099.

Nick is curious about express lanes: I was entering northbound I-15 at Tropicana Avenue the other day and while merging, I noticed a fuel tractor-trailer towing two trailers driving in one of the express lanes. Isn't this illegal? Since when are they allowed to do this? I thought these lanes were supposed to be for passenger vehicles or equivalent only?

Nope, it is perfectly legal for tractor-trailers to use these express lanes, which extend between Sahara Avenue and the Las Vegas Beltway. In fact, the Nevada Department of Transportation would prefer truckers use these lanes because most times they are simply passing through town. Transportation officials believe they will cause less congestion if they are allowed to keep up their speed and stay out of regular travel lanes.

Jim is perplexed by parking at CityCenter: I am totally confounded by the misuse of parking space in the self-parking garage. They could park twice the number of cars that they do now, but for some reason parking is available only in every other space. What possible reason could they have for this ridiculous set-up? Maybe to deter shoppers and force them into the seven valet areas?

Well, Jim's hunch that this is to divert customers to the valet parking lots seems reasonable, but the folks at CityCenter say this isn't true. According to Gordon Absher, spokesman for the massive resort complex, CityCenter is still operating under a temporary certificate of occupancy. Once it receives the certificate of occupancy, changes can be made.

The resort does meet the code as far as providing adequate parking, but we all know that is mostly valet. Absher said officials are aware of the self-parking issue and will address the striping issue once that certificate is secured.

If you have a question, tip or tirade, call Adrienne Packer at (702) 387-2904, or send an e-mail to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com. Include your phone number.

 

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