Here’s a quick visual explanation of where all your hard-earned dollars went when the SUV was ticking on ‘E’ earlier this summer.

There was always a bit of a myth out there that high taxes and increased refining costs were what sent prices skyrocketing. But as you can see from the chart, those refining and tax costs were actually slightly lower in our time of panic.

In reality, it was purely the price of crude oil to blame. And even then, there is disputation as to whether it’s some rich Saudi sheik arbitrarily deciding to screw us. That’s probably a conspiracy theory best left to less handsome bloggers.

This information comes from The Hoover Institution, a prestigious public policy research center out of Stanford University. If you can’t trust the Hoov, who can you trust?

But all of this is really just an afterthought because the perilous gas price crisis seems to have been averted for now. Prices have declined for almost a full month now. The average national cost per gallon is around $3.80. Some idiots are thinking of buying SUVs again. Seriously, have we learned nothing?

Hoover Institution: Fast Facts on Policy: Gasoline Prices, August 5, 2008 via Bayesian Heresy