I got gouged at the gas pump
Minus the return of El Nino' or La Nina' or some other strange Latino weather phenomenon, summer is on the way. For many Americans summer means baseball and picnics and barbecues but for all Americans summer means higher gas prices..
And especially for the people of San Francisco because I just read in the paper that San Francisco has replaced Honolulu as the town with the highest gas prices in America. Which is surprising because much of the gas bought across the Western U.S. is refined in the Bay area. And yet, somehow gas is cheaper in Honolulu than it is right in San Francisco. .
Now, I know the Bay Bridge can get crowded at times and bridge tolls have gone up and parking in San Francisco can be a nightmare... but those added expenses can't make up for the fact the oil companies didn't have to put their gas on a boat and float it over to Hawaii. .
Gas is more expensive in San Francisco because oil companies know San Franciscans have more disposable income to spend on it than Bakersfield-ians or Fresno-sians or Lompoc-ians, otherwise known as the folk of Lompoc..
And the oil companies can get away with it because what are San Franciscans gonna do about higher prices, anyway? You can't order gas over the Internet. I shouldn't say that... maybe you can get gas over the Internet but who has that kind of closet space?.
What the oil companies say about all this is, and I am ROUGHLY quoting one of the slippery rascals - THAT'S NOT A QUOTE - from the newspaper article, "We don't arbitrarily raise prices in the summer. It's supply and demand. The marketplace tells us what to do." Really? Well, on behalf of the consumers who make up the marketplace let me suggest you give us gas for free. In fact, check the oil and clean the windshield Sparky. Let's see how you respond to the marketplace on that..
The oily guy in this article said the reason they have to raise gas prices in summer because the demand is greater. You oil companies might try doing what 7/11's and supermarkets do with beer and soda before summer stock up. Those companies seem to remember people drink more beer and soda in the summer and want to have lots on hand at low, low prices..
In fact, I am going to help you greasy devils out. Next March I am going to call up all YOU oil companies and remind you summer is coming, people drive more... get more oil in the literal and proverbial pipeline. And if you lower your price to 19 cents a gallon and give everyone a free pie plate or coffee mug with every fill up, I'll know you truly are responding to the marketplace. And if you don't I might just buy your stock because that's a pretty neat little racket you have going there. In Los Angeles, I'm Tim Bedore for Markeplace.