In a scene right out of Mad Max, some places are now charging $5.90 a gallon for unleaded. The premium fuel has actually hit six bucks.
SIX DOLLARS! A GALLON!
Where is this? Some remote whaling village in Norway? No, it’s right here in the USA.
Here’s a snapshot of the sign out in front of the Chevron station in Shoshone, California — which is located close to Death Valley. Admittedly, this is a tough place to reach. So, gas is going to cost a little more in out-of-the-way places where it simply costs more money to transport fuel from the producer to the consumer.
But a 50 percent markup from the national average of just under $4 a gallon? (Note: This sign and price was not unusual — other stations in the area had similar prices per gallon).
Might this be a conspiracy?
Let’s agree that it costs significantly more to truck gasoline to remote parts of the country, such as Death Valley. I’m not sure precisely how much more it takes to drive a tanker from a fuel hub such as Los Angeles, which is 200 miles west. But let’s concede that it costs more.
I wonder — does it cost any more to transport fuel out to the desert than, let’s say, to a small town in the hills of Tennessee, where the same gallon of unleaded gas now costs $3,89 a gallon?
Someone please explain this to me. $5.90 a gallon in Shoshone….$3.89 a gallon in Gatlinburg.
Roughly the same geography from refineries and tankers, and the same reliance on overland transport. Shouldn’t the high dessert in California and the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee have roughly the same gas prices?
Again, please educate me.
Moreover, Id like to know that if indeed it’s more difficult to move goods to the consumer to a place like Shoshone, then why aren’t the other products also marked up significantly? A coke that costs $1 in Los Angeles is not priced at $1.50 in Shoshone. In fact, it’s the same $1. A candy bar that costs 60 cents elsewhere is also 60 cents here. Same with just about everything — except gasoline.
When people in one part of the country are forced to pay a 50 percent markup on a product that is widely available in similar regions at a substantially lower cost, something is very wrong.
I have a solution: I hope the day comes when this nation nationalizes the oil industry. Seize them all. Acquire all their assets. Take them over in the public interest and damn all the greedy shareholders who are caught holding an empty bag.
But all this pales in comparison to my final inquiry. Alas, I’ve saved the biggest question for last. Take a close look at that sign again. Look carefully.
I wonder — can’t the idiot who runs the Chevron gas station afford some legitimate signage, rather than using black electrician’s tape? I mean, the criminal oil company and the service station are raping consumers to the tune of $6 a gallon. And the sign looks like a fucking lemonade stand?