Craig We're not saying there's anything illegal going on, but the gas market has some odd behaviors around here.
Another week of falling oil prices, leading to another week of falling gas prices around the country (according to AAA), but the Craig pumps hover around $4.40 a gallon.
They've been hovering there for some time, which is unusual in and of itself, really.
Some of us on this board have lived other places, and in other places, the gas prices never stay so consistent. Not as consistent as Craig stations, anyway, stations that keep the same price for up to weeks on-end.
And then, when the price does change, it has a habit of jumping 10 cents or so. For example, Friday's price decrease at the Kum & Go north and Loaf N Jug stations from about $4.43 to $4.34. (Most other stations in town stayed at $4.43 as of Friday.)
Those sudden price jumps aren't too common in other places, either, where the prices move incrementally, as if actually dictated by market forces.
What's most uncommon, though, is simply the current price.
Uncommon in places such as Steamboat Springs, where gas ranges from about $4.20 to $4.35.
Or Rifle, where gas is mostly $4.26.
Or Grand Junction, where gas ranges from $3.90 to $4.00.
It's 20 cents less - or between 4 and 5 percent less - when you get 42 miles down the road to Steamboat, where stations have had those prices for at least a week.
Is there really that much cost built into shipping? If that's accurate, then the trucking industry may as well give up.
And don't the tankers come through Craig to get to Steamboat anyway?
We're not accusing anyone of doing anything illegal, which we feel we must talk about because, frankly, a common thought around town is that the stations are doing something illegal.
But we don't think so. We just want an answer that makes sense.
It doesn't appear to be shipping, at least not shipping alone. If we were to hazard a guess, we'd say it was a lack of competition.
There are a handful of gas stations around this rural town and a lot of business. You guys kind of have the market cornered.
And although we can't bring ourselves to really appreciate what the gas stations charge, the Republicans among us have to tip their hat to those stations for their business savvy.
It should be noted, however, that the Sinclair station at 666 W. First St. and Petrowest at 301 School St. seem to have more reasonable prices than other stations on more trafficked roads.
We may be all wrong about this, but this town at least needs an answer.
It doesn't have to be the answer we want - that you have no choice and damn the man for ruining this great country - but we'd like one that makes sense.
If it really is the shipping, please give someone a clear explanation why.
If it's not the shipping, then give us the truth.
We've never heard anyone - station owners and managers included - give us an answer that held up to scrutiny without revealing some questions.
Maybe if enough people read this, though, if the community can all channel their frustration at the same time, maybe we can get something close to logical.
Or maybe it will be same old, same old. We'll get anger and silence as a response.
It's possible - with our cars so important to us every day of our lives - they don't have to explain anything, anyway.