Tuesday, September 7, 2004

First, a prediction: no price hike this week. Nothing in the futures prices indicates it. Now, on to the article in the September 1 Grand Rapids Press about gas prices. Mark Griffin, president of the Michigan Petroleum Association/Michigan Association of Convenience Stores, is quoted as saying, “The fact is, our members do not set the prices of gasoline.” He goes on to blame “large conglomerates” such as Wal-Mart for selling gasoline below cost and driving out competition. Oh, give me a break! At least here in Grand Rapids, we have seen that it is a large conglomerate called Speedway that usually hikes prices first, and the other large conglomerates match that price hike. Poor little Admiral is usually the one that pulls prices down. I would be more impressed with Griffin’s argument if the next few time Speedway does a price hike, Meijer and Shell didn’t match it at all and kept their prices at or below cost. There has got to be a better argument to convince me that this gas price Stabilization Act makes sense. Right now, it sounds more like a Guaranteed Profit Act. A hike was initiated on Thursday to $1.89, but wasn’t complete until Friday morning. Regardless, I had an empty tank to fill on Friday afternoon. WRONG-O!

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