The RHATT Pack Watch
Today is Saturday, February 16th, Day 297 of the Rhatt Pack Watch.
It looks like the residents of Columbia, Hamilton and Suwannee Counties will have an impact on the gouging by the Red-face Ratt and his “Cousins”. A recent call to Tallahassee resulted in an acknowledgment gas price gouging has been and is being taken seriously. As you know, the Organization Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) held a stranglehold on petroleum production and pricing from the 60’s until a decade and a half or two ago.
Beginning in the early 2000’s, when OPEC was maintaining a $200 per barrel price, non-OPEC oil field exploration and reserve discoveries increased dramatically and advanced recovery technologies were applied to existing fields. Non-OPEC production increased and demand for OPEC products declined. In the late 2000’s alternative energy supplies, including solar, began increasing substantially and conservation technologies started reducing demand. The result was more production and price pressure on OPEC and its member countries.
Most OPEC nations were producing crude oil at about $5 per barrel and selling it near $200 per barrel. They also were over spending in their economies. Just look at Venezuela, probably the OPEC nation with the greatest reserves, but with a collapsed economy now. In less than a decade non-OPEC energy production, both petroleum and alternatives as well as conservation, forced a drop in OPEC’s pricing by 75 percent and more. Basically, that leaves us with crude at about $50 per barrel or $1.00 per gallon with many OPEC nations cheating on production quotas and selling even lower. Normally, the major gas companies spew fear, like adverse weather or Middle East unrest, about increasing crude prices, but global production is so diverse, these are threats of limited basis. It’s likely prices will remain low.
Back to Tallahassee for a moment. While officials would not comment regarding specifics of an ongoing investigation, they did opine that they are looking into gouging regarding State related laws and regulations and they have referred gouging aspects that may involve Interstate issues to the Federal government. According to GasBuddy, with the exception of the West Coast, pump prices have been dropping on an almost daily basis. Regular gas can be purchased as low as $1.60 per gallon and across the eastern two-thirds of the U.S., regular is routinely being found substantially below $2 per gallon. This is a drop of about a $1 per gallon in the last five months. Columbia, Hamilton and Suwannee Counties continue to remain high outliers for fuel prices. Fuel at most stations in these three Counties is 25 to 50 percent above the nationwide lows. Apparently, it’s this Ratt “Cousins” greed and associated gouging that has caught the attention of State and Federal officials.
You need to get more people involved and continue doing exactly what you’ve been doing. Report every gouging incident to officials In Tallahassee and broadcast it to everyone on social media. Report gouging of both regular and premium gas pump prices. Remember, the prices are going to bounce around almost on a daily basis. You want to focus on the major trends of chains or individual stations that constantly exhibit higher prices. Regarding the difference between regular and premium, they cost about the same to produce, so any station that is charging $0.50 or $0.60 more for premium is gouging. Report it.
Oh, by the way GasBuddy has an app that will save you 5 cents a gallon no matter where you make your purchase. Try it and keep the pressure on every “Gouger” and the prices will drop. And if you want a more permanent end to the Ratt’s behavior, your opportunity is coming soon at the ballot box. Identify and support TWO honest competent, caring and hard working Candidates and help them get elected. Put the Ratt and his “Gang” away by reporting their illicit activities to the FBI office in Jacksonville (904) 248-7000.