10 September 2015

Low Temps, High Prices

In Deadhorse, up on the North Slope, they have temps in the teens, with snow. Yep - global warming in action!


Meanwhile, we're having normal temps (upper 50s in the daytime) with the inevitable falls rain fronts, and lots of wind, here in southcentral. Could be worse.

* * * * *

Meanwhile, our gas prices ($3.23/gallon in south Anchorage) have prompted another cry for investigation from two - count 'em, two whole legislators - in Juneau.

According to the talking heads on local news, our prices tend to remain about 60 cents above the national average. But more on that in a bit.

Right now, we're 80 cents above. But the operators of our sole refinery (in Nikiski, in case anyone's keeping track) insist it's the law of supply and demand. Since they're all by their onesies, there's no competition, and therefore no reason to drop the price.

In 2008 - the last time anyone investigated high pricing - there were two functioning refineries. The one in North Pole hadn't yet closed; yet our prices were in the neighborhood of $4.37/gallon.

Why? Glad you asked.

"That's what it would cost," the refinery owners responded, "if we were to ship the crude to California to be refined, and then returned here for consumption."

"But that's not what we do," local reporters told them.

The reply was an oh-so-expressive shrug. Apparently, that's what we getting this time, too.


Why are prices so high? Because the refinery can charge whatever it likes. Yes, it's capitalism in action. But is it reasonable, or greed? Only you can answer that.

It's not like we can go anywhere else for our gasoline.


Sandy said...

Rev. Paul,

So true my friend!!! When prices of gas were going down in the U.S., ours was going up in OK.

Rev. Paul said...

Ours dropped to "only" $3.14 this morning, just as predicted when the request for investigation was announced. They think nine cents will appease us.