In the 1990’s there were only four different types of motor fuels, required in the U.S. Today there are close to 30 various types. State and Federal laws require retailers to sell new formulations of gasoline to address air quality concerns. These formulations are known as “boutique fuels”, which are formulas that address the air quality.
Winter blends have different requirements than summer blends. When the seasons change so does the price of the product. Winter supplies of fuel have to be completely exhausted before the new summer supply can be added to the exsisting tanks at retail locations. When this happens there is typically a short-term supply shortage causing an increase in the price of the product. Reid vapor Pressure (RVP) is a common measure of the volatility of gasoline. During the winter it aids with stating your engine and in the summer it aids in vapor lock.
Different requirements are mandated by different regions. Today’s market boutique fuels translate into different costs to various regions across the US. The price is the price, we pay for it, like it or not we simply cannot survive without it.