Psst! Want some cheap gas? I found it!

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Can a day go by without a news story regarding record high gas prices in the United States? Doubtful. We're a society of complainers, so the news is much more fun when there is something good to complain about. Gas fits the bill. Especially since it also means we get to complain about big naughty oil companies.

Unfortunately, most Americans don't realize that we are blessed with incredibly low gas prices compared to many places around the world. Even as we flirt with $4 a gallon gas, that's still a bargain when you consider what consumers in other countries pay. Gas prices in the U.S. were 45th cheapest on a list of 155 countries, a survey reported by CNNMoney.com shows.

In oil-producing countries, gas is cheap. It's about 12 cents a gallon in Venezuela, 40 cents a gallon in Iran, and 45 cents a gallon in Saudi Arabia. But in and around Europe, the prices are two to two-and-a-half times higher than the U.S. Gas is $8.73 a gallon in Norway, $8.38 a gallon in the United Kingdom, $8.22 in Belgium, and $7.86 in Germany.

So the next time you get ready to complain about the high cost of gas here, maybe thinking about this study will make you feel a little better. We've still got relatively cheap gas, even though the U.S. is one of the world's biggest consumers of gas.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
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