Pain at the Pump: Won't Someone Think of the Gas Station Owners?

The next time you pump gas, try to feel the pain ... of the gas station owners! Here's a report by Elizabeth Douglass and Ronald D. White of the LA Times about how gas station owners are being squeezed by high oil and gas prices:

Despite the jaw-dropping prices at the pump -- they jumped 19 cents a gallon in California to $4.43 in the last week and averaged more than $4 a gallon nationwide for the first time, the Energy Department said Monday -- service station owners aren't making the killing that motorists assume.

That's because credit card fees, the price of tanker-loads of fuel and other costs are rising so rapidly that station owners haven't been able to keep pace despite the record prices they're charging.

"People see $4 gas, and they think these retailers are making a fortune," said Ben Brockwell, a director at Oil Price Information Service, which tracks fuel prices. "The reality is these guys are being stressed to the limit."

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And European's actually pay LESS for the fuel. What makes there price per gallon / liter cost more is they have tons of taxes levied on gas. So arguing that they pay more at the pump is really moot since they basically pay the same for the materials, but their government makes them pay more.
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The comparison of European gas prices to American ones is really apples to oranges.
Our cities and daily commutes are set up, as a whole to be automobile based with entire neighborhoods set up as bedroom communities miles from where one works, goes the grocery store, and even where the kids go to school.
I blame Robert Moses and his followers. But I also grew up in suburban Atlanta without sidewalks so maybe I'm a little bit bitter.
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"People see $4 gas, and they think these retailers are making a fortune," said Ben Brockwell

No, I tend to think the oil companies are making a fortune. I usually forget individual people sometimes own the stations.
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I just got myself out of this industry. Consider the following:

A gas station owner has to purchase fuel in large quantities, usually about 9000 gallons at a time. He's paying maybe $3.89 per gallon = $35,010. At best, he'll gross 10 cents per gallon on that 9000 = $900. Subtract out the credit card fees and he's at $630. Then take out for electricity to run the pumps and keep the canopy lit, payroll for cashiers, etc. If someone damages a pump or hose, he's down to $0 profit. And with $35k tied up in the investment.

The "boycott the local gas station" mentality will succeed only in putting local business owners out of business and moving revenues to company-owned stores. Genius.

And if you need someone to blame, look at yourself and your own "rapacious" use of a non-renewable, polluting resource.
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I would be happy with that price because, where i live its over 1,55€ for just one litre. I love driving, but as a student its hard to keep a car.
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