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Prices at the pump are a mystery

Published: Fri, April 5, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Prices at the pump are a mystery

My opening question on a letter to the editor in January 2012 was “Where are the watchdogs?” At that time gasoline had increased 25 cents per gallon in one day. The oil companies and speculators drove the price up due to the “fear” Iran would block the shipping lanes in the straits, thus preventing shipments of crude oil to reach their destinations. Did we have a blockade? No, we sure didn’t. But how long was that increase at the pumps?

This time the excuse is “refineries going down, unanticipated maintenance, and higher demand ... going into the driving season.” Same old nonsense. Refineries go down every year, did the price jump 50 cents in the past years? Do you tell me that companies don’t schedule maintenance for the year? The last one is a good one — “higher demand” before the driving season. We recently had a fourth of the country snowed in — nobody able to drive, go to work, school or anything else. Where did all that fuel that normally goes to these areas end up? The pumps sure weren’t using it. Does that justify a price increase of 50 cents? I don’t think so.

A couple of months back the price of oil was around $87 a barrel. Did the price of oil drop 25 cents in one day? It took a heck of a long time to drop a few cents per gallon. But now let the price of oil jump a dollar or two and the price of gas jumps 10 or 15 cents a gallon in less than a day.

E.P. Yavorcik, Youngstown


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