Competition needed

To the Journal editor:

The study by the Upper Peninsula Petroleum Association contained many estimated facts and figures concerning the loss of wages, taxes jobs, gas sales and inside sales. The study also listed several possible negative consequences if the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community station was to become a reality.

The Mining Journal’s Weekend Gas Gauge (Feb. 1) listed gasoline prices of several U.P. stations. All of the listed stations and two local stations (Cenex and Admiral) had lower prices than the rest of the Marquette stations.

Why do our local stations nearly always have the highest gas prices in the U.P.? Why does the UPPA resort to scaring and demonizing tactics? (It was suggested that other businesses would unlikely open here if the KBIC opened, the KBIC might raise and inflate their prices once the other stations were out of business, the KBIC would open other businesses like mineral extraction, full-service marinas and literally any business.)

Talk about scare tactics. Does the UPPA suggest that people will buy less gas if KBIC becomes a reality? Does the UPPA suggest that we are happy paying the highest prices? Does the UPPA suggest that we should be quiet,satisfied, bite the bullet and not be interested in competition?

Our local stations have had it this way for a long time. They’re not willing to change so they resort to a “study” to demonize, scare and list estimates of job, money and tax losses.

It seems that the owners want to keep all of our stations with the same status quo. They don’t want KBIC to come here since it might force them to lower their prices. They don’t want anyone to interfere with their gas gouging practices. They seem to be satisfied in keeping Marquette with the highest gas prices in the U.P.

I think it’s time for the UPPA to look for various ways in which they can lower their prices. They need to be concerned with the fact that Marquette residents are getting gouged. Instead of using studies and scare tactics, they need to lower their prices and show us that they have us in their best interest.

I for one am tired of the games and studies that the UPPA is playing with us. It’s about time that our local stations realize that Marquette stations need to have the lowest prices in the entire U.P.

Outside competition, like KBIC, would help accomplish that.

Bruce Belmas Sr.