Stop gas gouging

It’s natural, when there’s a catastrophic weather event, for the prices of various fruits and vegetables to be affected.
Jun 17, 2013

Look at Michigan’s apple crop last year. Because of a warm spring, followed by a late freeze, a huge portion of the crop was lost. The result? Paying $8 a gallon for apple cider.

But what about gas prices?

There haven’t been any natural disasters that have led to Michigan residents this month paying historic highs — upwards of $4.30 — for a gallon of gas. Instead, it’s maintenance on a few refineries that service this region of the country that sent prices skyrocketing.

How do the companies that supply us with gasoline continue to get away with gouging customers?

A few refineries need some work and the gas companies send prices spinning out of control in an attempt to curb demand. It’s preposterous, and it’s terribly unfair to the consumer who has no choice but to buck up and shell out ridiculous amounts of cash to keep their vehicles running. 

State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, called for a new refinery to be built in Michigan to help ease the pain at the pump for the state's residents.

We’re all for anything that can help keep the price of a gallon of fuel at a more reasonable level.

Turn on the TV, page through a magazine or check out the billboards along our highways and we’re bombarded with ads about Pure Michigan, urging us to get out and experience all that our great state has to offer. That’s not easy to do with gas topping $4 a gallon.

A family with a few kids can’t fit into a Toyota Prius or other fuel-efficient vehicle. More likely, it’s a minivan or some type of sports utility vehicle that offers enough room for families to make a long trip in some semblance of comfort, but keeping those thirsty engines satisfied doesn’t come cheap.

Something needs to be done about our gas prices — which, according to reports, are the second-highest in the nation.

If it takes the construction of a new refinery to keep our prices at a more reasonable level, then we’re all for it. But, for the time being, we’re stuck paying whatever the gas companies want.

And we’re the ones forced to suffer because of it.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

 

Comments

davewali

Timely editorial.....3 weeks late. Prices are dropping now. Where was your outrage when prices rose 30 or 40 cents overnight?
Oil companies should be forced to drop them as fast as they raised them when the "maintenance emergency" (ie; CEO needed a boost in his profit sharing)is over.

armyguy69

Here is a question.. If the major five oil companies BP plc, Chevron Corp, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil Corp, and the Royal Dutch Shell Group raked in a modest (sarcasm) $199 billion profit for 2012 and an average of $2.4 billon in annual tax breaks, why do we the consumer must pay for the gouged price for repairs to refineries such as the BP Whiting Indiana plant, which is one of two causing the surge in prices?

Say no to new taxes

There's no shortage of gas because of "refinery maintenance", consumption in this country is down and gasoline is being EXPORTED in record amounts. What is causing the spike in prices then? A total lack of government oversight on the futures market where speculation, based on more rumor then fact, encourages high prices. If you studied gas prices around the country the past two years, you'd see a rotation as to what area of the country gets the high prices for a period averaging three months of
or less. The oil companies know if the entire country was to be paying the $4.35 we saw here last week, citizen outrage would demand government intervention.

coloradohere

well...i just returned from croatia and austria where gas prices are about $8.08 per gallon (in salzburg 1.55 euros per litre x 3.9 litres in a gallon with the exchange rate at 1.55 euros equals 2.07 american dollars per litre)...Of course these countries have great and well used public transportation, people do lots of walking and ride bikes and tend to drive small fuel efficient cars...I didn't see one single Hummer, no Caddies or Lincolns, almost no trucks...Other prices are much higher there as well - i.e. for food, clothing is outrageously expensive, i saw lots of used, high mileage cars for about $33,000...heck, even refrigerator magnets cost 6.55 US, a little rubber toy duck dressed like Mozart cost 9.90 euro or $13.24...or course as a tourist i had to have one anyway...but the point is that their wages are less than ours, their taxes very high so why are we complaining instead of looking for ways to reduce our driving??

Even so, the salaries and perks for oil company, in fact most corporate CEOs are outrageous which is inexcusable...everyone deserves a living wage, no one deserves multi-millions at the expense of anyone also putting in a 40 hour week...the gov't. doesn't bail us out either...

Wingmaster

Sounds like cutting fuel use and using public transportation in Europe works great to reduce fuel cost!!!!! NOT

We need to make it easier to build, drill and increase the supply.

Don't you think more business people would get into this lucrative business if it was easier to produce without all of the gubment, EPA road blocks!

I do agree we need to see prices come down as fast as they go up after the "problem" is resolved. Why doesn't that get challenged? Something fishy there.

Psmith

The prices went up because of refineries not drilling I think we should pressure Politian’s to stop taking money from special interest groups and lobbyist then maybe this country would stop bending over for big oil company’s…

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