Gas sellers charge what you'll pay

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, May 20, 2004

I read with interest the article, "Gas prices take a hefty jump, likely to go higher," in the Juneau Empire.

In the same "a couple of weeks ago" timeframe our gas here in Haines went up approximately 20 cents a gallon. The excuse was that the next barge's gas price had increased, thus they had to raise the costs here. However, last Wednesday it went up another 19 cents overnight, and we're still on that same bargeload of gas. Guess it's true that gas increases in value while sitting in the tank.

I like the excuses presented by Petro Marine manager Roger Baker: "Baker pinned the recent rise on a combination of domestic and overseas demand, pipeline problems in the Northwest and a recent refinery fire in Texas." The local Delta Western (who a few years ago created a monopoly by buying out Petro Marine locally) manager used the refinery fire excuse as well, however his fire was in California. I asked him if it was the same refinery fire that was used as an excuse in the early 1970s gas price increase and supposed shortage. (There was a news article a number of years ago that showed the gas companies conspired to raise gas prices in the early '70s. Of course that wouldn't happen today).

To quote Fred Gray of Delta Western here in Haines, when asked about prices a year ago, "We charge what the market will bear." That's the bottom line. As long as you'll pay it, they'll raise it. And we're paying $2.58.9 here in Haines today.

Cant wait 'til the summer rush comes into play. Gonna have to park the truck.

Bruce Hale


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