Gas $2.99 elsewhere, but Clare County pays because refinery shuts down

I paid $3.47 per gallon for gasoline in Lansing on Sunday. Wednesday, 3 days later I paid $3.89 in Harrison. That’s 42 cents difference. That’s slightly better than a 12 percent raise in 72 hours. That’s an incredible raise when the per barrel price of gasoline is actually going the other way.

And in every other region, except for the Midwest, the price of gasoline is going down. Can you believe gas is actually cheaper in Los Angeles that it is in Detroit? That’s never been the case. Gas in Greenville, South Carolina was $2.99 per gallon as of yesterday.

Gas in Clare, Farwell and Harrison was 90 cents higher. What the heck?

According to Gas Buddy, a company that keeps track of gas pricing trends, the price of gas in the Midwest is higher because a Marathon refinery near St. Louis decided to shut down for maintenance last week. Patrick DeHaan, one of Gas Buddy’s principals, said it is highly unusual for a refinery to schedule maintenance in June. Usually maintenance takes place in the winter, he said, when gas demand is lower.

The Marathon refinery would typically produce 215,000 barrels of refined gasoline a day. From the refinery the gas is shipped by truck to service stations all over the Midwest. The refinery is expected to be shuttered for 3 weeks.

Speedway, which has 280 service stations in Michigan, is a subsidiary of Marathon. In Isabella and Clare counties, Marathon and Speedway (which is the same, only difference is name) pretty much set the price of gas in this area.

Hmmm, me thinks this is mighty strange. Me thinks this is a conspiracy on the part of Marathon and other Midwest oil companies to keep gas prices artificially high. It appears now that the price of unrefined oil has went south, and I guess, with it, the opportunity to continue to make record breaking profits. Shame on Marathon and others for gouging the Midwest consumer.

And shame on the federal government for allowing this to happen. There is suppose to be Congressional oversight in place to stop these types of irresponsible actions. However, in the case of the feds, the higher the price of gasoline, the more tax monies come to them. So why in the world would they be concerned about a refinery shut down? Heck the feds have no desire to regulate gas. It’s counterproductive.

Shafted by the State

It seems like in every direction we turn, as consumers, or citizens, we are getting the proverbial shaft. A reader from Lake brought in a letter she received from the Secretary of State. God forbid, she was ticketed for speeding- traveling 30 mph in a 25 zone.

In part the letter said, “Based on your driving record you are eligible to participate in Michigan’s Basic Driver Improvement Course program. The course is optional and works like this: Drivers who receive minor violations may take the course for a fee not to exceed $100. If they successfully complete the course, any points stemming from that violation (she got 2) are not placed on their record. In addition, the violation and points will not be disclosed to their insurance company.”

If this isn’t an out-and-out attempt to grab money from our wallets, I don’t know what is. Our bully State government is telling us either take the course and pay us your money, or we will report you to your insurance company and saddle you with 2 points.

What an insult. Now the lady, who drove 5 mph too fast, had to pay the ticket fine, and now an additional $100 for the privilege of taking a course that if she passes, will supposedly eliminate the 2 points and report to her insurance company.

What on earth has happened to our government. Isn’t our Democracy suppose to be government for the people, by the people? That apparently got tossed to the side of the road. People don’t seem to matter anymore. What a shame.

One Response to Gas $2.99 elsewhere, but Clare County pays because refinery shuts down

  1. About Time

    June 15, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    If just one gas station in Mount Pleasant would step up and say, “enough with the price gouging, we’re not going to be a part of it anymore, we’re lowering our prices to where they should be,” that one business would get the lions share of petro fuel business from consumers — even after the others cave.