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Vail Daily letter: High gas prices ain’t lack of supply

Alan Stroeve
Vail, CO, Colorado

Recently, we have seen gas prices slowly rise here in the Vail Valley to where they are today at $3.99 a gallon. Over the years, we have all heard the reasons of hikes in gas prices: Conflict in the Middle East, gulf oil disruption due to hurricanes, demand not meeting supply, refineries closing, ect. The list of excuses goes on and on. However, we find ourselves in a unique moment in time right now.

For the first time in our nation’s history, the United States is exporting more gas than ever before. Our No. 1 export is gasoline. Surprising? Absolutely, especially when we have seen such a rise in fuel prices in just one week.

Right now, our nation has more infrastructures in place for the extraction and production of fossil fuels than ever before. It is known, right now primarily due to techniques such as “fracking” and horizontal drilling, there is an incredible surplus of relatively cheap natural gas on hand in our nation. The very same cheap natural gas is used to crack crude oil into gasoline.

So here is the problem: If demand for gasoline is in decline in the United States and if we can produce gasoline at a much cheaper cost, and if our nation has such an abundance of gasoline, then why have gas prices risen so much over the past week? Why do we not see the benefit at the pump here in our nation if we are producing more gasoline than ever?

Over the years, we have always been told the reason why gas prices rise is due to production and supply costs. The myth has been dispelled because right now our nation produces more gasoline than ever and at the lowest cost ever.

Does the common citizen see the benefit? No. The fuel is exported because international demand is higher and profits are higher. No matter if we import more oil, or produce more oil here within the United States, the cost at the pump will rise if the oil companies or gas stations wish it to do so.

Regardless of where or why or how gasoline comes to the pumps here in the United States, we the citizen consumer has been and always will be taken advantage of by the oil producers and gas dispensers.

Ever wonder what the reason could possibly be why gas is so high right here in the Vail Valley? If you drive to Frisco or Eagle, gas is somewhere between 30 to 50 cents a gallon cheaper. It obviously can’t be because of transporting it to us.

I once asked a fuel driver why it was so expensive here in Avon, he told me it was because of the distance from Denver to here. But if the driver drove another 15 miles to Eagle, it’s cheaper? Really?

I think the oil companies, as well as the gas station owners here in the Vail Valley are all preying on us.

Personally, I feel the owners of the gas stations here in our towns are the worst offenders for exploiting what they can for their own personal gain and at the cost of the working class. The only reason why gas is so expensive here is because they can get away with it. Truly is disgusting.

Alan Stroeve

Avon


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