It’s the Mom n’ Pop shops that make the world go ‘round, especially when it comes to gas stations. One shop owner in Massachusetts has had it with selling gas at record prices while oil companies clean up with record profits.
Unfortunately, Reynold Gladu’s refusal to sell gas likely means the end of his business, Ren’s Mobil Service, in downtown Amherst, Massachusetts, according to WCVB:
“I don’t want to be part of it anymore,” Gladu told The Daily Hampshire Gazette for a story published Tuesday. “This is the biggest ripoff that ever has happened to people in my lifetime.”
Gasoline in Massachusetts is averaging more than $5 per gallon, according to AAA New England.
The business will continue to do oil changes and other repairs, but Gladu acknowledges it is unlikely he will be able to remain open for long without selling gas.“Dealing with Mobil, they don’t think through their pricing policies anymore,” Gladu said. “I’ve served their product, but I refuse to do it anymore, because they’re only getting richer.”
Gladu’s anger is certainly justified. Mobil and its ilk are certainly getting richer. Shell posted record profits for the first quarter and profits from gas and oil alone for Exxon Mobile earned the company $9.3 billion in the same time period. All told, the top five oil companies brought in 300 percent more in profits than the first quarter of 2021. That’s $35 billion in four months, according to Center for American Progress.
The oil companies had some pretty weak defenses when they came under light grilling from Congress this spring, according to Reuters:
DeGette questioned the billions of dollars in profits earned by the companies, and cited $30 billion in taxpayer subsidies they receive as a reason they should help lower gasoline prices.
Chevron’s Chief Executive Mike Wirth said fuel prices are set by market dynamics that companies have little control over.
“Changes in the price of crude oil do not always result in immediate changes at the pump,” Wirth said, adding that “it frequently takes more time for competition among retail stations to bring prices back down at the pump.”
Funny, it seems gas prices skyrocket just as fast as a barrel of crude, but they certainly don’t come down as quickly. The average price of an unleaded gallon of gas reached above $5 in 21 states Thursday. Experts are predicting prices could reach over $6 a gallon by the end of the summer, according to CNN.
Gas stations are usually independently run connivence stores that partner with big oil companies to sell gas out of those shops. Gladu let his tanks run dry last month but believes his business won’t survive without the traffic selling gas brings in. Still, a man’s got to know his limitations, and over $5 a gallon was a fuel price too far.