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Gas prices a challenge in Marquette area

September 2, 2012
The Mining Journal

Get ready Marquette area, we are going to toss a small compliment out about the price of gas in Marquette. For several days, last week we were not the highest price of gas in our area.

According to Gas Buddy, regular gas at Citgo in Iron Mountain was selling for $4.19 a gallon on Friday. The Marquette Citgo was selling it for $4.18 per gallon. Strike up the band and let's celebrate. Our gas was one cent cheaper than Iron Mountain.

But wait a minute. On the same day, the Escanaba Citgo was selling gas for $3.86 per gallon, or .32 cents less per gallon than Marquette. The Houghton Citgo was selling gas for $3.79 per gallon. That is .39 cents per gallon less than Marquette. That was a very short-lived celebration. All the above prices were taken from Gas Buddy so we can't guarantee total accuracy of the above listed gas prices, but some members of the petroleum association have told us that they are fairly confident that Gas Buddy prices are accurate.

We checked again on Friday August 31st and we found the price of gas in Iron Mountain was selling for $4.18 per gallon at Murphy Oil. In Marquette at Citgo gas was selling for $4.14, which is 4 cents less than Iron Mountain. Citgo in Escanaba was selling gas for $3.87 per gallon, which is .27 cents per gallon less than Marquette. Citgo in Houghton was selling gas for $3.96 per gallon, which is .18 cents per gallon less than Marquette.

Congratulations go out to Iron Mountain for taking over the distinction of having the highest price of gas among the four largest cities in the Upper Peninsula. Even though Marquette has held that prestigious position for the majority of the last several years we are happy to relinquish our title to Iron Mountain, even if it is only for a short time.

We have several gas stations that are boycotting selling The Mining Journal because they felt we supported the opening of a new gas station in Marquette Township operated by the KBIC. What we really are supporting and have been actively campaigning for the last several years is more competitive gas prices in the Marquette area.

We would be happy with a new Murphy Oil station opening in the Marquette area. In fact we would like to invite Murphy Oil to come to Marquette, which would offer some competition to Citgo and Oasis two local distributors. Murphy Oil typically keeps gas prices in Houghton and Iron Mountain at least 10 cents per gallon cheaper than Marquette. If this happens, the local stations would not be able to cry foul because of what they call an unfair tax advantages given to the KBIC.

Our ultimate goal is still very simple. We want Marquette to get more competitive with gas prices. We are glad that Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette put out the warning last week that he will not tolerate price gouging by gas stations.

That is the same thing we have been saying for years, but the Attorney General can actually take legal action when stations try to take advantage of weather events like a hurricane and try and gouge consumers.

Mining Journal subscribers can rest assured that we along with the attorney general will keep a close watch on gas gouging in the Marquette area.



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