Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 4:29 PM on Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tired of being ripped off

Am I the only one tired of being ripped off, of having money intentionally taken from my wallet without my permission or ability to stop it from happening?

It is one thing for HEA to over-charge me so they can over-pay themselves. While APUC has never seen a rate increase request from HEA they didnt like, I can turn to alternative energy sources and get off the grid. The price for gas at the pump, however, is not something I can escape.

I have long contended that fuel, either gas for cars or heating fuel for homes, should be identified as a utility, thereby giving us the people some measure of control over greed. Of course, given the history of APUC in relation to HEA, this measure of checks and balances has failed we the people.

Prior to July 4, 2008, gas prices in Alaska very closely matched the national average. That was when crude hit $145 a barrel. The national average peeked at $4.08, while Alaska prices continued on up to $4.69. By the end of 2008, the national average had dropped to $1.61. The price in Alaska bottomed out at about $2.35.

The only other times our prices were to come close to the national average was May of 2009 and February/March of 2011. Currently, whoever controls the price we pay at the pump, has apparently abandoned all pretenses and is willfully, intentionally engaged in profiteering, at our expense.

The national average peeked in this current rise/fall cycle at the end of February 2012 at the price of around $3.90. At that peek, we were paying $4.39. The current national average as of June 4, 2012, is $3.58. We are paying $4.78. This is the highest ever in our history, and by the way, the price for crude is $83.23.

Listen, understand this: There is no rational explanation for this thievery, and the next time you go to the pump to fill up you might want to think about this. Someone, either the owner of the gas station or the party from whom that owner purchases the product, is stealing from you. And we have no other option at the moment except grin and bear it, or park our cars and walk or ride our bikes which I am not opposed to, however, my employer may be. And of course, the second option is not going to accomplish anything unless we all choose it.

And all this time I thought we were an oil-producing state. Too bad we are not, as it seems reasonable to assume, that if we were an oil-producing state, we would enjoy better pricing at the pump. Ah well ... to dream, to dream.

Duane Christensen