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Weekly Gripe – Gas price hike

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kristinanew.jpgGas prices are soaring once again. This week’s gas prices are averaged at $3.05 per gallon for the state of Colorado, according to GasBuddy.com. In comparison to last week, prices have risen nearly four cents, and compared to last month prices are up 17 cents or more in some areas.

This inevitable raise in gas prices is unfair. It’s unfair because there is not one thing that anybody can do about it if they want to drive an automobile. Drivers nation-wide are forced to pay high gas prices if they want to have a reliable form of transportation and not have to depend on public transportation to get them from place to place.

Gas companies argue that the increased prices are a necessity because of the high demand for gas. GasBuddy.com said that nearly 400 million gallons of gas are used daily. Companies use high figures like these to con the public into thinking that it is absolutely necessary to have high prices.

However, I think that the real truth is that gas companies know that ignorance is bliss, as cliché as it sounds. They are aware that the general public knows little about their industry, and they take advantage of it.

If consumers see prices raising, but they are informed that the reasons behind this increase in prices is due to necessity and demand, they will complain much less about high prices. However, if they are led to believe that they are paying more for gas for these companies to make higher profit than there would be an uproar of disagreement.

I think that gas companies choose to have high prices because there is no alternative for consumers, and if they want to drive they will pay. While their excuses of necessity and high demand satisfy consumers enough to not feel that they are being taken advantage of, they are merely excuses to mask the true motive: profit.

It is very frustrating that, as consumers, we have little choice in this matter. Gas stations are not very competitive with each other in the sense that they do not lower their prices in order to bring in more business. In fact it is merely a decision of brand names for consumers. Do we like Shell better or Conoco? Loaf ‘N’ Jug or Diamond Shamrock?

A battle of the brands is of no benefit to me if I am not getting a lower price. Gas stations might as well get rid of the name game if they are all going to charge the same. They should at least make it easy on consumers and share the same name. If we are paying the same price where ever we go, don’t make us feel like we have to be loyal to a certain company. Isn’t a high profit enough?

Let me know what your wallet and gas tank have experienced in this pricing fiasco.