Diesel fuel prices have gone down some over the last six months. But they're still high and are likely to remain that way.

That's according to Dave Costello, an economist with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Highway diesel prices didn't double from 1998 to 2000, but those of farm fuel, which is exempt from motor taxes, did, Costello says. The average wholesale cost for fuel oil, which is closely related to the price of #2 diesel, was 42¢/gallon in 1998 but grew to 88¢ last year, he says.

“With the world oil situation and the domestic market, we should expect to see high prices,” says Costello. “The first quarter of 2001 will average about $1.47, including taxes, for highway diesel. That's up about a nickel from last year.”

To learn more about diesel prices in your area, visit DOE's Energy Information Administration Web site at www.eia.doe.gov.