Braxton Citizens' News, Opinion

Shaft at the pumps – again…

Before I get to the main topic of this writing, I want to mention that the word is getting out on Amendment 2 that would gut funding for public education. I saw this past week that the Governor actually came out in opposition to the amendment. That surprises me in that the amendment is the centerpiece of the Republican majority’s move to change our tax structure.

I’m still working on article explaining the four amendments that will be on the ballot. I plan on having that research complete and the articles printed prior to the start of Early Voting.

Braxton County residents are once again getting shafted at the gasoline pumps. I had a reader call me this week to complain about the high prices. He said his job caused him to travel all over the Mountain State and Braxton County had the highest prices at the pumps that he had seen. He said that in some places the price is near $3.00 a gallon and with the average being around $3.29. In fact, shows that a Sunoco station in Chester, WV is selling gas at $2.99 and several stations are $3.10 or below.

I can certainly understand the more rural counties have to pay more. We are in the geographical center of the state on a major highway, why are our prices so high?

I can see a few cents difference for transportation costs. But it doesn’t take 35 cents a gallon to bring fuel from Lewis County to Braxton. I had occasion to meet our granddaughter in Buckhannon yesterday for dinner and noticed that gas was $3.29 in both Lewis and Upshur. So why are our prices so high? Simply because of the lack of competition. At least competition that is not content to reap the big bucks and keep their prices with that of surrounding retailers.

And… those who have to rely on diesel fuel are getting the shaft even worse. The disparity in the price of diesel verses gas has amazed me since diesel is a less refined product and used to cost less than gasoline. The difference in price in the neighboring counties between the two products was much less than what it is here in our county.

There is no regulation on fuel prices, which is obvious. I still say the main reason is the number of elected officials that own stock in big oil. If they took steps to help the common person, it would literally take money out of their pockets in the way of the huge dividends the oil company continue to pay.

Well, once again, this rant will undoubtedly serve no useful purpose except make me feel better. I guess I’ll just have to enjoy that feeling… till its time to fill up my truck!