Diesel continues to be higher priced because of the low-sulfur refinement process now. It’s cleaner, better smelling, and has less environmental impact, but it’s more expensive. The road taxes—both state and federal—also are higher on diesel than gasoline, hence the greater street price. In reality, government is making more on the sale of diesel, and gasoline, than retailers are.
Here in New England, we also are impacted because heating oil is a derivative of diesel, so we get both higher prices on our home oil and our diesel fuel. To get a better comparison of the tax issue, compare off-road diesel prices at a retail site to on-road. Depending upon bulk or small-load delivery, the retail price will vary by 30 to 50 cents a gallon.
For certain buyers, diesel still makes sense—it gives extra range, good torque, requires fewer refueling stops, and works well for high-mileage drivers. There is something to be said for that extra push in the back when a turbo-diesel spools up.