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Here we go again

Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ah, it's that time of year again. Springtime. Don't ya just love it? Yep. Our friendly oil companies are at it again. Seems (like for the past 20 years, at least) just like clockwork between March 1 and May 1 they start easing up the prices in advance of the supposed tourist season. Problem is, we live here all year long and pay up, too.

Every time someone raises a commotion, good old Tesoro and Holiday drop it back a nickel. And every time the crude oil price goes up a buck or two they're right on the price hike. However, when crude prices drop as they have this week so far, they never drop the price a penny. Up, up and away is their motto, no matter how long that cheaper fuel has sat in their supply tanks.

They tell us we are on world market conditions, and Anchorage and Fairbanks use more volume. They really think we're stupid and buy that bunk.

We live next to the refinery and always pay 30 cents more than the big cities. They tell us they have to send gasoline to Anchorage and put in an additive, which runs the price up. Oh yeah, we've heard all their lame excuses. They say gasoline is just our by-product when making our jet fuel.

The fact is, they do it because they can. They have monopolized the market on the peninsula, and they know it. Locally, we have suffered through the highest U.S. gasoline prices in our country over the past 14 months. When Lower 48 prices fell to as low as $1.39 a gallon in Tennessee and Georgia, we were still at $2.55 a gallon here locally. They then led us all to believe that there was a shortage of crude, etc. Sounds like shades of 1973's contrived oil shortage, doesn't it?

So what do we do? We either pay up or do without. They have no care in how it affects families locally. We have to constantly alter our home budgets to make ends meet. They profit, profit, profit. They only care about one thing: the bottom line.

I'm challenging any of their CEOs or COOs to explain their reason why this goes on on the peninsula every spring. There is not one reason whatsoever why we shouldn't be paying what Anchorage and Fairbanks pay for their fuels.

The people of the peninsula should demand it. We're tired of their lame excuses. It's our livelihoods they're playing with. Oh yes, and if by some strange chance they would drop the price indiscriminately, we may just drive and use more, which would still add to their bottom line.

Dave Thompson

Kenai



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