Our View: Voodoo economics

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— 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.

Comments

cantstandtexans 6 years, 4 months ago

Simple understanding actually. Example....women's shoes. I've been misitifed all my life looking at the price of women's shoes. Why are they more expensive than mens shoes...when under most designs...men's shoes have more material/leather than women's shoes?!! Because people will buy them. You've haven't got a joice!! So....pay it or don't...doesn't make it right however. You bet people are getting taken!! But looking at the Loaf and Jug @ Hwy 40 and Hwy 13 yesterday...there wasn't a shortage of people LINED up getting gas. I'm truly waiting in excitement for the new GM Volt car......most of my in town shopping will cost precious little in recharging the battery...if...and I really don't like going to Steam Boat..but if need be...it will probably take a gallon of gas to drive to Steam Boat and back...less than 5 dollars!! Oh happy day!!

I know...Come and Go's are spending a hell of a lot of money building New stores inside and out!! But you're paying for them! Buy a low gas comsumption vehicle...but them you have all those tourist!! Sring, summer and fall!! I guess we don't count...retailers and suppliers want the $$$$$$$$ from these tourist!!

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grannyrett 6 years, 4 months ago

Welcome to real life in Craig 101. Been this way all my life, and I'm old enough to be your----granny.

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taxslave 6 years, 4 months ago

As a restaurant owner I know this......Food is delivered and charged by Zones...Craig is zone 4, SBS is zone 3. Zone 4 has the larger transportation costs.

The restaurants in Craig pay more for their food than Steamboat. It's been like this for for over 20 years for me. I'm not sure but gas deliveries are probably zoned the same way.

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