Saturday, September 6, 2014




Three days ago the price of gas at our local station was $3.54; yesterday it was $3.51 and today it is $3.57.   Can anyone explain this?

In a  normal business model you buy a product at wholesale price, you add a percentage mark-up as a profit margin and sell the product retail at a fixed price.

Now, a gas station buys bulk wholesale gas at the price of $X.00, the owner figures his profit margin and set a price… then the next day he raise it, and the next day the raise it again and that evening he lower it?   This is the same gas that he paid a fixed amount of money to purchase; so, why isn’t the price fixed until his next purchase?  

And, who decides on the price changes? 

I feel like someone is sitting in an office in some corporate behemoth, and to break up the monotony, a couple of times a day, tosses a dart at a string of numbers; then pushes a button and thousands of gas station owners run out and change their prices.

Is this some kind of collusion between the oil giants and the financial section – something to do with gas futures?   If so it is a fuck job on the general public and should be government regulated (but, of course, the lobbyist that actually run this country will insure that regulation of the oil and financial sectors never happen.)

My Toyota RAV-4 has a twelve gallon gas tank, I get twenty-five miles to the gallon and I travel less than seven thousand miles a year; so this isn’t an ISIL terrorism level concern for me.

But I can’t help but ask: What the fuck?

the Ol’Buzzard


  1. I think collusion over gas prices is clear to everyone but government investigators. They never seem to find any evidence of it? Perhaps that just shows how powerful oil interests are.

  2. I live in a rural place and I suspect that it is the same for you...a trip to the gas station involves a nice drive in itself. e used to have a station in our village, but as with a lot of rural small chains, when the EU rewrote the environmental rules for gas stations, a lot of smaller stations just went out of business, because the upgrade involved digging up the old tanks and installing new ones. So, the old Nervol station in Badefols d'Ans is now converted into a house! The nearest gas station is about 12 kilometers away and it is part of the Intermarche supermarket chain. Here, the cheapest gas is usually through the stations at the big shopping centers. We have noticed the direst relationship of gas prices with the fluctuation of the exchange rate of the Euro to the Dollar. When the Euro loses a few points, the price of gas goes up...when the Euro goes up, the price of gas goes down and yes, it changes daily. Here, there are a few consumer websites that let's you compare the prices. We pay a lot more for gas than you do. Today, I filled up the car and it was 1.28.5 a liter...that works out with todays exchange rate to about 1.65 US a liter.which means I pay about 6.25 US a gallon! Makes you think before you turn on the car to go to somewhere. Interestingly enough, yesterday, the EU announced that they were going to bring down the Euro/dollar exchange rate. Now what?

  3. sometimes it's worth getting gas here in West then driving to Wackko for cheaper gas, unless I have to go there any how.which is what I do..I went to HEB and if you bought a HEB gift card and used it on their gas you got 11 cents it cost me $3.01 a gallon..put $25 in tank and I had some in tank already and it went up to almost 3/4 of a tank..which will last me till next month ..that includes a couple of trips to town to see the GG;s. and yeah it pisses me off..

  4. I worked in a C-store with gas pumps for a while. The company liked to have one of the lowest prices in Monkeyville so every morning the manager had to drive around town and see what other stations were posted at, and adjust our prices accordingly.

  5. There is no logic. The one certainty is that prices will go up just before the election because the oil companies prefer to have a Republican in the White House. They'll up wholesale prices in hopes that voters blame the Democrats.

    Around here we get to witness the interesting phenomenon of gas being anywhere from a few cents to almost 50 cents cheaper per gallon at the station in Baraga owned by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community than it is at any of the gas stations in L'Anse. Because it means driving 4 more miles, there are a lot of people on the L'Anse side of the bay that never gas up there. We're not among them -- it's the only place we buy gas locally. Until KBIC opened that gas station, the L'Anse-Baraga gas stations had the highest prices in the Upper Peninsula. We'd be paying 30 cents more a gallon than people did in Houghton -- and the gas trucks had to drive through L'Anse to get up there to deliver to the stations. It was pretty obvious what was driving the price locally was the station owner's profit motive. Once KBIC opened their gas station, prices at all the other stations dropped considerably.

  6. There is a large gas distributor that owns a fairly large chain of gas stations in the U.P. and parts of northern Wisconsin. It pretty much controls the price of gas for the whole area where it has stations. One of the things they (who and I kidding, it's one fucking asshole that owns the company!!) do is raise the price if there is snow in the forecast because snowmobilers are coming, or raising the price just before college classes start because the students are coming back, etc. In the last couple of years he has decided he doesn't have to compete with the Tribe's station. It used to be the price would be a dime or so more than the Tribal station, but now it can be 20, 30, 40 cents or more higher and the other stations on this side of the bay follow suit with the same price. He figured out most people are too fucking lazy to drive a few miles to gas up, even if they'll save a few bucks.

  7. Raising your gas prices to $6 in line with the rest of the world would do a great deal to lower greenhouse gas emissions and provide cash to rebuild infrastructure. Why is it Americans feel they deserve the cheapest gas in the world and send their military out and about to keep it that way?

  8. Americans love to drive, we'll jump in a car for any little excuse.

  9. I read somewhere that the pump prices where adjusted according to the futures prices.

    Those countries with much higher gas prices are either paying a lot more tax on a gallon of gas or they are buying oil by the barrel that costs twice what we are paying.

  10. Rob, that's why the prices are the way they are in Europe! We are paying much more tax per liter, but it evens out. That's how we pay for roads and social services. I walk, bike ride and take trains. I try to lump all of my driving together. We take trips in the car, but on the average, we use the car about twice a week..I fill the tank on the average, once a month. I pay more per liter, but in reality, I spend and pollute less and I have great legs!


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