Letters to the Editor

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GAS: Charging more because they can

Letter by Michael D. Sadler, Puyallup on May 29, 2012 at 11:38 am with 19 Comments »
May 29, 2012 12:10 pm

Over the Memorial Day holiday weekend I noticed store after store advertising sales and car dealers offering generous incentives for their products. However, one industry traditionally raises prices to take advantage of the holiday activity. It uses existing stocks and simply boosts the retail price “because it can,” and no one is going to do anything about it.

I have no problem with a company making a reasonable profit, and I have no problem with a company raising its prices to cover increased expenses. But I do have a problem with companies that raise their prices “because they can.”

Our area ranks it the top 10 percent of the highest gas prices in the nation. And in the Puyallup area, I suspect we probably rate higher than that. Chevron and Shell were at $4.31 for a regular gallon this weekend, and why is that? Increasing demand and decreasing availability: In other words, the market is driving the cost of gas in our location.

In the past we always bitterly blamed Middle Eastern countries for the rise in gas prices. But the people moving gas prices skyward today aren’t shouting anti-American slogans; it’s American business at its best. ‘

Leave a comment Comments → 19
  1. BlaineCGarver says:

    Over 4.50 for Shell Regular in Morton, and about that over in Yakima. 70 bucks and change to fill my Ranger for a days drive over the Mtn and back.

  2. concernedtacoma7 says:

    The biggest factor effecting the price today is govt. Funny that Mr.Sadler left that out of his reasons for high gas. How about the devalued dollar (which has rallied as of late due to the euro implosion)? Boutique gas? EPA?

    Where are your solutions? You imply price controls. What a slippery slope.

    Buy a govt subsidized hybrid and move on. Or, take govt subsidized mass transport. Or, buy stock in energy producers. Many options

  3. “because they can” is called supply and demand.

  4. slugoxyz says:

    I paid $4.68 on the Queets Reservation on my way up to the Hoh River Valley. Hurt so bad, I only put half a tank in and held out until I got back down to Aberdeen ($4.28). Ho hum. I wish a govt subsidized hybrid would pull my 5th wheel.

  5. bgc – my ranger cost me $81 to fill in puyallup.

  6. “The biggest factor effecting the price today is govt.”

    Can you please stop with your lies?
    Just, stop already.

  7. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Ok, since I am sure you are a commodities expert, explain to the board why/how gas is priced. Thanks!!

  8. menopaws says:

    Oil prices are falling everywhere else in this country—so what does the government have to do with Oregon, Washington and California, Ct7???? My Missouri family is paying $3.45, friends in Alabama $3.40—-check out some other places on the net………This is pure price gouging, and all those refiniries go down at the same time for maintenance……You need a bridge to fall on you to figure this out?

  9. alindasue says:


    You could conceivably blame the government, whether it’s warranted or not, for the steady rise in prices. However, the rise the letter writer is talking about is the usual holiday weekend markup. The companies take advantage of the fact that people will be buying gas for holiday travel, well, because they can. People will buy the gas even at the higher price.

    Supply and demand dictates prices, but the short term of the holiday weekend is not enough demand by itself to necessitate a rise in prices to accommodate it. This is more a case of “what the market will bear”.

  10. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Alindasue, what is the “so what”?

    They are private businesses and one has options. Gas up before the holiday, take mass trans, stay local, etc.

  11. alindasue says:


    I’m surprised to see you suggesting people take mass transit. You usually proclaim it a waste of taxpayer funds.

    The “so what” is that the letter writer is correct that companies are charging more for gas because they can. We can choose to pay it as they expect us to or buy less gas, as you suggest. I did travel to Seattle a couple times this weekend (Folklife Festival!) but dealt with gas prices by carpooling. If it had just been me going, I would have probably ridden the bus as I have done in past years.

  12. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Not a complete waste if it was run efficiently. For example, the commuter buses from Tacoma to Seattle.

    All companies charge what they can for goods and services. They exist to maximize profits.

  13. itwasntmethistime says:

    Two words: drive less.

    As long as I see roads jam packed with cars I know gas is still affordable for most Americans.

  14. m9078jk3 says:

    I don’t use gasoline or diesel personally so it doesn’t bother me.
    I also agree with itwasntmethistime too.
    The higher the price of gas the more I like it.

  15. Some people have no choice but to drive because all the public and school bus service has been severely cut down. So how is it that a parent can get their kids to three different schools, to work, to pick up their kids and stop at the store before they make it home? Carpool? You STILL need a car. So m9078blabladiblah… what’s your solution? Should the parent put their three kids on their bicycle? Glad you are amused by other people’s hardships and struggle to make ends meet. I for one am not. So Itwasn’t? Instead of TWO words, how about an IDEA? Or are you only capable of single syllabic words?

  16. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Here is an idea- change your lifestyle or make more money. Move. Buy a govt subsidized hybrid.

    You are looking for a big govt solution to a personal problem.

    Really want to do something, you and your far left friends need to start pulling the ‘R’ lever.

  17. itwasntmethistime says:

    Okay, Frida, here’s an IDEA. Live closer to the places you want to go. I, too, drop my kid off at school on the way to work and I, too, hit the store sometimes on the way home. I usually fill my tank every 2 weeks but when I cut out all unnecessary driving I can make it 3 weeks.

  18. Theefrinker says:

    Large-scale boycotting always works.

  19. m9078jk3 says:

    Frida if I can ride 100 miles when I was 8 years old in just one day I don’t see why your children can’t at least ride 10 or 20 miles on a bicycle to school.

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