High gas prices need to be addressed

We haven’t had to do an editorial on gasoline for a while. But based on recent prices in our area, it looks like it is time once again to question why gas is more expensive in the Marquette area, a situation several of our subscribers have also noted, and felt important enough to call us asking that very same question.

We checked with gas buddy on Thursday and found gas at Meijer in Marquette was $2.87 per gallon. Meijer in Escanaba, meanwhile, was $2.54. This means we’re paying 33 cents per gallon more in Marquette than Escanaba. Holiday gas was listed at $2.87 per gallon in Marquette, and at $2.58 in Escanaba. That is a difference of 29 cents per gallon. Krist in Marquette came in at $2.79 per gallon, while Krist in Escanaba came in at $2.58. This is a 21-cent per gallon difference.

Gas prices in Iron Mountain came in at $2.62 per gallon for Holiday, and Murphy was at $2.59 per gallon. Krist came in at $2.65.

In Houghton, gas was $2.72 per gallon at Murphy. Krist came in at $2.73 per gallon. The Pines in Baraga is selling gas for $2.28 per gallon. But to be fair, that station does not have to pay state taxes, which gives the Pines an advantage on the prices they can charge for a gallon of gas.

We had hopedwhen the Ojibwa gas station opened in Marquette Township they would help regulate the price of gas in Marquette. That did not happen. The Ojibwa prices gas within pennies of the other regional gas stations.

We had also hoped that when Meijer opened in Marquette they would make fuel prices more competitive. We assumed they would price a gallon of gas based on the price they pay instead of what other stations are charging in this area.

If you assumed gas for Escanaba and Marquette came from Wisconsin, we have done the math in the past and you could justify paying about 1-2 cents per gallon more in Marquette because of the mileage difference. There is no legitimate excuse for charging .33 cents per gallon more in Marquette than in Escanaba.

The reason for gas prices being lower in Escanaba comes down to one specific reason. It is called competition. Both Meijer and the Ojibwa could lower the price of gas in Marquette by getting more competitive. We are not looking for special pricing in Marquette. We just want fair pricing so we are more competitive with Escanaba, Iron Mountain and Houghton.

The Mining Journal has offered in the past to host a community forum and invite people from the gas companies to come and explain to local consumers why they are paying more. Someone from the gas industry should explain to us the discrepancy.


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