PLAINVILLE, Conn. (NBC/WVIT) – Right now, gas prices across the country are hitting another record high. And there are myths floating around that somebody is getting rich while we are getting poor, or the belief that price gouging is taking place.
Pain at the pump is a sentiment heard over and over again recently.
The Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, which represents 70 percent of the gas stations in the state, wants consumers to know the high prices don’t mean they’re making a lot more money.
The association’s president, Chris Herb, said, “Don’t forget we have to buy it first. So we were the first ones who suffer these price increases because we have to buy it from our wholesaler. And then you have to, then you have to mark it up for taxes. You have to make a little bit on this because you can’t keep the lights on if you don’t. So it’s a very fair business.”
Swarnjit Singh Khalsa is a city councilor who operates a station in Norwich. He said, “I’m at $4.84 as of today. But when prices go up from supplier, in order to pay our rents, we have to do that. Also, we are three gas stations in a row. So we have a lot of competition. So of course it depends upon area to area. But I know we are paying more freight fee as well, which we weren’t paying before.”
Experts say for owners, it’s not how much you can make per gallon, but how many gallons you can sell. So price gouging wouldn’t make good business sense.
With her first child due in September, Shannon McKiernan is trying to save. She said she’ll be skipping beach trips this summer and staying local.
“I literally go to work and go home, and that’s pretty much it,” she explained. “It’s crazy. It’s insane. Pretty soon I’m just going to get a horse and drive a horse to work.”
Gas station operators say as prices go higher, customers aren’t necessarily going inside stores at stations to buy as many snacks.