If gas prices still seem high these days, check out the price of diesel fuel when pulling up to the pumps.
Soaring diesel prices are making gasoline look cheap by comparison, and it could soon impact everyday consumers who have never purchased a drop of diesel fuel in their lives.
Scott Dallis is a home builder who won national attention building a home for ABC's Extreme Makeover Home Edition show a decade ago. Nowadays, he cringes every time he pulls up to the pump. His GMC pickup requires diesel fuel, which, in some, cases is now almost $2 higher than the price of gasoline.
"At the pumps, I am paying probably two bucks more than what regular gas is, and typically it was just a .45 or .50 cent difference," he said.
Dallis needs his truck to carry equipment and shuttle between home construction sites he supervises. He said he is now paying around "$180 to fill it up." H
Dallis remembers when diesel fuel was cheaper than gasoline, and people would buy diesel cars to save money on gas. Then, the price was the same, or .25 cents more, but he said he's never seen a price spread like he sees today.
Dallis said high diesel prices are going to cost others, too, specifically for anyone who needs to hire a contractor for home projects.
"I'm getting dinged with fuel surcharges from people bringing us gravel, lumber, drywall, cabinetry and doors," he said.
He warned that anyone could be hit with similar surcharges.
Why such a huge difference from gasoline?
GasBuddy.com analyst Patrick De Haan said the reason for the price spread is that refinery shutdowns and Russia's war in Ukraine impact diesel more than gasoline. Demand is much higher for diesel than gasoline, especially with the end of the summer vacation season.
"Demand has been very high, and inventories are very low," he said,
To make matters worse, De Haan said, "the disconnect between gasoline and diesel could widen and worsen over the months ahead as we approach the peak of diesel season, which is winter."
So even for drivers who are not filling up with diesel fuel, De Haan said these prices will affect them.
"Products sold in a hardware store, electronics, clothes, groceries — all of that's carried to those locations with semi trucks, generally speaking," he said.
One bit of good news: People who live near any of the 600 Pennsylvania-based Sheetz gas stations, located mostly in the east, can expect to see the chain lowering diesel pries by 50 cents until Sept. 30 to honor Truck Driver Appreciation Week.
Scott Dallis does not have one near him, however, and as he headed off to his next work site, he said there is not much he can do about the price of diesel right now.
"It's pricey," he said. "But it gets me to my next job."
He and thousands of others who drive diesel trucks hope prices come down soon, so you don't waste your money.
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