Saturday, March 26, 2011

Gas 54 cents less 100 miles south! Who is Gouging who! Investigative Reporters to action!


I have been vacationing and traveling by auto from Eureka to Phoenix this last week and on my way back I gassed up in Willits. I paid $3.63.9 per gallon. When I entered Eureka, I saw the first station coming into town sold gas for $4.17.9 per gallon, and per our gas price history, the prices varied only 2 cents all the way through town. Every town all over the west coast I have traveled, the prices vary at least 15cents. Why not Eureka?

Oh yes, I have seen the local media reports that let us know we have the highest prices in the contiguous states and yet I see no explanation why.
I am challenging all local Northern Humboldt press! Times Standard, North Coast Journal, Arcata Eye, McKinleyville Press and how about you two, John Matthews and Hank Simms of Lost Coast Communications!

Who is screwing the general public when it comes to the gas gouging we are subjected to in Humboldt County for years?

Let me give a few observations or questions that others can add or explain:

Is this problem to be dropped on the gas station/convenience stores? Is the price they charge based on gas profit margin or food products margin?

Is this really a supply and demand issue and we are so far removed from the rest of civilization that the suppliers can justify the prices?

Why won’t a supplier that can deliver gas that can be sold for $3.63.9 a gallon in Willits go ahead and drive that 4,000 gallons to Humboldt County for $2,160 more when it would only cost about $1,000 for delivery?

Just why is it so much cheaper to deliver gas to all points all over the United States? Why are we number #1?

I can pretty much guarantee you press people that the following local issues in Humboldt County take a back seat to any of the gas price concerns, so quit reporting on these until you give us gas gouging answers:

1. The Marina Center.
2. Jefferson Elementary School.
3. Ridgewood Development.
4. Humboldt County General Plan.
5. Medical Marijuana.

Now get going!

18 comments:

Tom Sebourn said...

Richard, I have reported this but not enough. About 4 or 5 years ago, the Patriot station on Broadway across the street from Adel's and the old CBS building was under different ownership. I think it was a Gas 4 Less then. To get to the chase, they used to sell gas for 10 to 15 cents less than any other station in town. They would run out. I asked them why they were able to sell it for less than anyone else in Eureka? They told me that their gas came from the San Francisco bay area and was trucked in. They said that if they sold their gas for 5 to ten cents more than their business model suggested, they could make great profits.

That meant that their gas was 10 to 15 cents less than the other stations. They said they were harassed by the other stations about their price. They would get phone calls every day from other station owners trying to set their price. That and the constant hassle of running out of gas with almost daily deliveries, led them to just put the price up to the rest of the stations, about 20 cents per gallon. They said this was more than their business plan said they needed to pay the bills. They did keep their price 1 to 2 cents lower than the rest of the town just like that station in Indianola does but gave up trying to compete. They sold the station not long after our conversation.

From what these people told me, the local market is ripping us off to the tune of about .20 cents a gallon. I can't back that up, It was just conversation and I wasn't thinking about doing a news story on it at the time. I do stand by what have said and what they told me.

Tom Sebourn said...

I am interested to hear what the people you actually challenged have to say about the subject.

Anonymous said...

Richard, we all know you make up for the high gas prices with your third and fourth trips to the feeding troughs at the China Buffet.

rick mitchell said...

I filled up on Friday at Costco for 3.99 a gallon. And they are always at least 10 below local market value. I have seen them 20 plus cents cheaper at times. And their fuel is trucke in from Redding. And if you have a card lock from Renner you can aways get it 10 cents cheaper, In fact I believe Renner guarantee it price to be 10 cents cheaper. Now as far as 4 less stations I believe they also get their fuel trucked in from Redding(I do stand corrected on that one).
I also know that the big Box Oil company's are are leveraged 10-15 percent to retail. With the exception of BP they are up 20-25 percent.

Anonymous said...

Renner is in the business of fucking over every single person in Humboldt

Anonymous said...

it is Rex Bohns fault that is what Chris Kerrigan and Bonnie Neely say

Joel Mielke said...

"Is the price they charge based on gas profit margin or food products margin?"

This question doesn't make sense.

If the price of gas is more important to the public than other important issues, what difference does that make?

The oil business is competitive. If it's so profitable to "gouge" the public here, why aren't other oil retailers lining up to sell gas here?

CostCo has an independent distribution system, yet there is little savings to be found there.

rick mitchell said...

One other thing that I didn't mention in my previous post. We are forgetting about what the oil company's are getting TAXED we all know they just pass it on to the us consumers. I just saw on CNBC that the energy company's(chevron and exxon)are taxed 40%.

Scott said...

there is the simple fact that they charge higher prices because they can get away with it. people are addicted to gas no matter the cost. there's still plenty of complaining going on but that doesn't lower gas prices.

Jim said...

...If memory serves me, Costco had to agree to keep their gas prices within a certain cents below other retailers here, before they could get approval to build their station. Renner and other retailers did not want the competition. Also in an article from Nov. of 2002 the Times-Standard reported that based on a formula used state wide, local retailers where getting around twice (20 to 30 cents per gallon) the state average profit per gallon of gas.

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rick mitchell said...

Thanks Jim,I Didn't know that. Good info.

Washington Carrasco said...

"Costco had to agree to keep their gas prices within a certain cents below other retailers..."

That sounds incredible. Is there any evidence of this?

Anonymous said...

I'll take that as a "no."

Richard said...

Gas went to $423.9. 6 cent increase in a few days, and still no reporter wants to take the task?

Anonymous said...

If there was so much profit in the retail gasoline buisness, then why do you see stations closed and never reopened? Hmmm. Gas is cheaper in Willits because they can get it shipped out of the bay area. Trucking laws dont allow a driver to legally make the run from the bay and back. No gas stations in this county get their fuel from the bay. It doesnt pencil and whoever wrote the post that anyone gets their fuel from the bay doesnt know what they are talking about. You will never see any kind of action from your state government over the price of fuel, because the higher the price the more sales tax revenue. If you want to do something as a collective body to lower the price of gasoline and diesel, start asking your elected officials why you have different gas requirements for each state. This ridiculous idea that gas sold in Oregon, Nevada, or Arizona cannot be used in California is a huge factor. If you could have ONE specification for the nation, when one state has a refinery issue, no big deal, just truck some from another bordering state. We cannot do that in California. It would lower the price drastically. Costco gets it gas from the same place all stations do...the Chevron owned terminal behind the Bayshore Mall. Each distributor has their own contract with their wholesaler/oil company. There are only a handful of distributors in Humboldt and I have heard that Big Oil and Tire is on the ropes and could be sold any day now. Costco didnt have any kind of a price guarantee either. Just not true. Open a gas station and see all of the hoops you have to jump through...not worth it. Ask the remaining few independent station owners and they will try to sell yo their station.

Washington Carrasco said...

It appears that Anonymous 5:16 knows a lot more than I or any of the angry consumers and conspiracy theorists posting here.

The question Richard demands that local reporters ask would be, "why doesn't some benevolent oil giant challenge Chevron by building a competing terminal in the fabulously profitable Humboldt market?"

Anon.R.mous said...

The question is:

Which fuel company is hauling in non-California grade fuel into Humboldt County and reselling it at Humboldt County prices.