CCN Staff Report
Manchester, KY (January 22, 2016) - The phenomenal response and interaction from our readers via telephone, email, social media and face to face discussion regarding Thursday's "Gas Prices Smelling "Fishy" in Clay County Article" indicated that the topic really hit home striking raw nerves in a multitude of Clay County residents that are suffering from the out of proportion local gas prices compared to surrounding counties & appear to be fed up prompted us to do an additional "The Big Picture" update with even more disturbing information for consumers.
One of those that feel "Enough is Enough"?
Contact Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear's office via the resources provided at end of this article.
Original report below with "The Big Picture" update in left box:
Manchester, KY (January 21, 2016) - Have you noticed that crude oil prices are at a 12 year low and is now under $28 a barrel? Have you noticed that retail gas prices in the region vary by location?
For example: (Today} $1.55 at Krogers in Corbin, $1.53 at Krogers & Murphy's in London, $1.73 at Murphy's in Hazard, and the lowest price in Manchester - According to KentuckyGasPrices.com is among the highest priced fuel in the region at $1.94 per gallon.
Top: Manchester - Lower: London / Photos taken Thursday afternoon, January 21, 2016High fuel prices hurt working families and low Socioeconomic status (SES) families more than any one group and it would be a welcome gesture for at least one local station to implement a competitive price that is regionally appropriate. Now you're saying to yourself, "they say it costs more to distribute here than in those other places along the interstate", and I say "really? Let's look at the data."
London's best price reports in at $1.51, Manchester which is 20 miles away on an excellent highway for travel is at $1.94, or .43 cents higher, and then even deeper into the mountain region Hazard reports in at $1.73 or .21 cents less from a location 40 miles further from I-75 for distribution.
The Big Picture:
For example, given $335 per individual worker times 5,000 workers equals approx. $1.7 million dollars is being spent on higher priced fuel that could be spent otherwise on other family necessities and in other local businesses to maintain & increase their revenues to circulate within the local economy and maintain employment.
Now, double the high priced whammy on a husband and wife who both work ad fill-up their tanks weekly, that now becomes nearly a $700 negative economic impact to their household income. This higher priced fuel impacts others as well, such as persons on fixed incomes or lower wage workers who both face the harshest economic impact of high fuel prices. For example, a $7.25 hourly worker makes $290 week minus approx. $45 for taxes leaves $245 for take home minus another $30 for gas leaves only about $215 for the week for housing, transportation, and food (can they afford lunch daily?).
How does this .43 cents add up on an everyday basis?
A worker who commutes daily in town and out of town spends a significant amount of their earned income on fuel. If you fill-up once per week on a 15 gallon tank the increased cost of topping your tank locally is $6.45 or approximately $335.00 annually. In real dollars for working families or low SES families, think of this example where a $20,000.00 income famly loses nearly 2% purchasing power of their take home pay when having to purchase higher priced local gas. The impact of this is even greater for Clay County's economy when people are encouraged to purchase their gas in surrounding counties where they make other purchases as well. All these local dollars are flowing east-west/north-south as fuel prices continue to be lower in neighboring communities.
If a local convenient store that sells gasoline would competitively price their fuel, I believe that hundreds of new customers would flock to their doors, buying gas, food, drinks, and other items which would likely turn over the entire inventory of that business in a matter of days and re-stocking would be a regular and on-going necessity.
A prudent and practical store manager could develop a business plan that appreciates volume sales, new customers, and higher profits overall.
As consumers let's use power of the purse and wallet and make sure we all stop and shop at the lowest price fuel station in town, this will capture the attention of other store managers who will notice the reduced customer flow and less ring of the register.
Pass the good word on where the best fuel price is to your friends and family via social media. Together as a community of consumers we can affect change and draw attention to the "fishy" smell of high gas prices in Clay County!
If you feel as I do, that this matter
should be brought to the attention of
Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear (pictured).
Online Consumer Complaint Form -- print forms or call the Consumer Protection Division at (502) 696-5389.