Reeling Agencies Hit by Rising Fuel Prices

October 25, 2012

Agencies already struggling with budget cuts are getting squeezed by higher fuel prices — to the tune of $6 billion in added costs in fiscal 2011, according to preliminary data from the Energy Department.

While fuel use increased by only about 1 percent from fiscal 2010 to 2011, agency spending rose 46 percent — from nearly $13 billion in 2010 to $19 billion in 2011. The biggest drivers of the increase in spending were the costs of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

The trend promises to continue, as gas prices have risen from an average $3.46 a gallon in October 2011 to $3.80 a gallon now — a 34-cent increase, according to the Energy Department.

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