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Who Got Rich?

Phoenix, AZ - While the so-called more reputable press continues to merely report on the high cost of gasoline, TheRealTruth has learned who really pocketed the extra money generated by the gasoline shortages of the past few weeks. Arizona now has the unwelcome distinction of having the highest gasoline prices in the nation, although California, Nevada, and other states are not far behind. Gasoline prices in Arizona have skyrocketed from an average of $1.55 a gallon (regular unleaded gasoline) one month ago to an average of $2.09 a gallon this week. At the height of the shortage two weeks ago they went over $3 a gallon at some gas stations!

According to a source inside the Arizona Attorney General's office who must remain anonymous for obvious reasons, the governor of Arizona ordered an investigation by the AGO. That investigation concluded that the higher prices were mostly unjustified and in the process also identified who it was that took home the extra money. No charges can be brought against them because, unlike other states, Arizona does not have a law against price gouging. However, their identities can, and we believe should, be made public.

Between August 1 and September 1 crude oil prices rose from an average of about $17.75 to about $18.75 for a 50 gallon drum of crude oil. It takes two gallons of crude oil to make one gallon of gasoline, so the cost of crude oil to make one gallon of gasoline went from about 71 cents to 75 cents. This seems to be due to the normal market fluctuations in the price of oil.

However, during that same period, the average price of a gallon of refined gasoline went from 99 cents to $1.39. Four cents of that can be attributed to the change in the price of oil, but the remaining increase was apparently due to the oil refineries like California Oil and Texas State taking advantage of the situation. They simply more than doubled their profit margins from 28 cents to 64 cents per gallon!

At the gasoline storage tank farms in Phoenix, where the gasoline gets sold to local distributors, the average price of gasoline went from $1.04 to $1.54 per gallon between August 1 and September 1. So in the Phoenix area the profit margins for the storage tank farms like AZ Shell and AZ Texaco increased from 5 cents to 15 cents per gallon. Here again there seems to be no justification for this price increase except that they took advantage of the short supplies and sold them to the highest bidder.

At Phoenix area gas stations, the average wholesale price increased from $1.47 to $2.04 per gallon during that time. Taking into account the 37.5 cents per gallon in state and federal taxes included in this price, the tank truck drivers increased their profit margin from 5.5 cents per gallon to 12.5 cents per gallon. However, most of this increase can be justified by having to haul the gasoline much longer distances and having to work drivers overtime to keep up with the demand.

Meanwhile, the average retail price of unleaded regular that motorists paid in Phoenix to fill their gas tanks went from $1.55 per gallon on August 1 to $2.09 per gallon on September 1. That means that the gas stationís profit actually decreased from 8 cents to 5 cents per gallon. Thatís right: the Phoenix area gas stations saw their profit margins shrink during this crisis!

So if you yelled at the gas station owner or the tank truck driver last week, you were yelling at the wrong person. The real culprits were the oil refineries like California Oil and Texas State and to a much lesser extent the gasoline storage tank farms like AZ Shell and AZ Texaco.


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