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Letters: High gas prices in Del Norte County are unreasonable

Could someone please tell me why Del Norte County gas prices are consistently from 40 to 50 cents per gallon higher than Brookings or almost anywhere else? I've heard the argument that the taxes are different and it costs more to ship the gas to this area, but I don't buy that idea. I just did some calculations and this is what I came up with:

A normal tanker truck holds about 8,000 gallons of gasoline. If you multiply that by the 50 cents a gallon difference that comes to $4,000. I just bought gas in Willits for $2.73 a gallon, which is actually 56 cents a gallon less than our $3.29 a gallon in almost every gas station here.

But just for grins, let's use my 50 cents a gallon difference for now. Willits is 220 miles from here. If a tanker truck gets 8 miles to the gallon, then that translates to about $100 in fuel costs to drive that same 8,000 gallons an additional 220 miles. Let's really go out on a limb and triple that fuel cost just in case that tanker hasn't been tuned up lately and say it costs $300 to transport that gasoline the additional 220 miles. Now, of course we have to pay the driver. I just saw one advertisement for a tanker driver that pays 39 cents a mile so 220 miles times 2 (he has to drive back to Willits to get back to our original starting point) or 440 miles.

Multiply that by 39 cents a mile and you have about $172. What about the taxes you ask? Well, we are still in California so the taxes on that 8,000 gallons of fuel should remain the same. So we add these costs up and we get a total of $472 to ship 8,000 gallons of gasoline an additional 220 miles from Willits to Crescent City.

"Wait a minute—that's not right," says the distributor. "I'm shipping 8,000 gallons of gasoline. It costs more to ship than $472."

Does it? Wouldn't you have the same costs to ship one gallon of gas the same distance as you would 8,000 gallons? Same distance. Same driver. Same truck. Same taxes. The difference as I see it is someone is making about $3,500 on that 8,000 gallons of gasoline. I'm sure there are a few other costs in there too like insurance and a little thing like profit. But $3,500?

My whole point is, does it really cost up to 56 cents a gallon more to truck gasoline to Crescent City than it does to Willits or are we being gouged by someone? I, for one, drive the extra few miles to go to Brookings to buy gas. And by the way, I usually do all my other shopping there too because it's convenient and I'm already there. And I know I'm not the only one that does that.

Maybe the Crescent City merchants should be wondering how much money they are losing to Brookings because of the gas prices. Makes you think, doesn't it?

Dean Clawson

Crescent City

 

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