Jan. 07–I had the opportunity to go out of town this holiday season, and in doing so, experienced the joy of not feeling gouged at the gasoline pump. I was in Dallas and paid $1.71 a gallon — a Christmas miracle.
I think there are other Midlanders, like me, who enjoy traveling out of town and paying a lower price for gasoline. It doesn’t matter if you go to Lubbock, San Angelo or Abilene;you get a break from Midland prices, even if it’s for only one fill-up. AAA Texas reported prices of $1.82, $1.86 and $1.93 in those cities, respectively. The average price last week in Midland was $2.49.
The Reporter-Telegram reached out to at least one distributor in 2018 about the price of gas. Its response was there are many complexities in the fuel business that impact pricing. The company pointed to the high cost of transportation from Gulf Coast refineries and Midland’s distance from pipelines.
RELATED: AAA Texas: Midland, Odessa only areas in state with $2-plus gas
We asked for help explaining those complexities to our readers. Questions included: “Why we are surrounded by cities on all sides that show averages much lower than Midland?” Another was: “Why did the difference between Midland’s average and the state average grow so much year over year?” That company wasn’t interested in going in-depth on the issue.
I hope a company will come forward and provide some facts that may help our readers understand the reason why the price in Midland is 56 cents higher than the state average (it was 25 cents in January 2017) or why the price is so much lower in other cities in the region.
Those who live in our community need to know that they aren’t being picked on, and we will provide the space in the Reporter-Telegram and at mrt.com to help explain the issue. We were told in 2017 that the Reporter-Telegram was singling out those who sell gas. My guess is, apartment complex companies would disagree. I think we have been fair in passing on the information that illustrates a higher cost of living, and we will continue to do so.
When prices have gone up or down, we have told the story. The problem, however, lies in that prices went up more in Midland and Odessa and haven’t gone down nearly at the same rate. And there is no explanation why.
So, as the editor of the Reporter-Telegram, I will make the following offer to companies that sell gasoline in Midland: Send us an explanation about the price differential and why that differential has grown compared to the rest of the region and state, no matter the price of oil. We will pass the information on to our readers; we all need to be educated about what you know. You say there are complexities. Let the Reporter-Telegram help explain them.
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