BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - There finally seems to be some relief at the pump for drivers who use regular gasoline, but those who rely on diesel to run their vehicles are still shelling out some big bucks.
Kevin Taylor said every time he heads to the pump to fill up his 18-wheeler, he spends $1,000 on diesel. He said it totals to roughly $10,000 every month, just for fuel.
"That's, by far, my biggest cost - fuel," Taylor said. "More than tires, more than upkeep, it's fuel."
"I know when I was growing up, it was a lot lower than gas, which was a good thing," said Wade Svendson, who drives a pickup truck that requires diesel. "My brother got a diesel and it was awesome. But now, it's higher, but I don't have an option to go to a gas truck when I have to pull things for work."
Average prices of fuel in Louisiana are as follows:
The drop in price for regular unleaded is clearly far more significant than that for diesel. Don Redman with AAA said despite the small drop, diesel prices this year are better than 2013.
"They're still almost $0.40 cheaper per gallon than we saw this time last year," Redman said.
Redman added diesel prices are still high because refineries shut down twice a year for maintenance. The latest was in October. Plus, he said because there was an extremely late corn and soybean harvest, there simply wasn't enough demand for diesel. If you're wondering why diesel is now the highest when it used to the cheapest years ago, Redman said the diesel quality now is better than decades ago.
"With the Clean Air Act, we did have a continued campaign to reduce the sulfur content in diesel and in fact, today's diesel is a far cry from, say, your grandfather's diesel. It's a much cleaner fuel, but with that comes a cost," Redman explained.
Redman predicts diesel prices in Louisiana are expected to drop over the coming weeks for a number of reasons. Most importantly, because it was a late harvest, corn and soybean are expected to be an excellent harvest, which will increase the demand to transport more crops. With more demand comes more supply and that will drop the prices.