I'm responding to the letter writer who wanted to know why gas prices area so high in and around Tri-Cities. A few weeks ago, I saw a retired person from the petroleum industry on TV who answered that question.
He stated that prices are set in accordance with income in the area. So, when you see the national average at $3.52, what does that tell you about the Tri-Cities when you are paying $4.23 here?
It tells me they charge whatever the market will bear. Here you are paying up to 70 cents per gallon more than the national average. I've bought gas recently in Wapato for $3.97 and Toppenish for $3.99. Drive 15 miles to downtown Yakima and the price goes up to $4.23, so you see again that it is an area's income that dictates gas prices.
This smoke and mirror story about refineries such as the one at Cherry Point at Blaine have very little to do with fuel pricing, since Cherry Point only furnishes less than 20 percent of Washington's fuel.
I have family in Oklahoma and they are paying $3.69. But that is a depressed area. I hope this clears some of the mystery of how they set gas prices. It's all about income.
John Burgett, Prosser