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A heated discussion of Summit County gasoline pricing policies. December 15, Frisco Community Center.



Summit County Gas Prices:
Are They Fair & Reasonable?

December 15th 2005
Summit County Community & Senior Center

Panelists included:

Stan Dempsey, President of the Colorado Petroleum Association;

Dennis Creamer, Suncor Energy USA;

Randy Udall, Executive Director, Community Office for Resource Efficiency  (CORE);

Tim Theis , Silverthorne Resident and Small Business Owner;

Gary Lindstrom, Colorado State Representative for Eagle, Lake, and Summit Counties.

Howard Hallman who moderated the panel made the introductions and started off discussion by asking Mr. Dempsey, “Why are gas prices in Summit County so much higher than those in Denver?”  Dempsey answered that he did not know the answer to the question, but gas prices like most commodities were determined by free market factors and supply and demand. Factors could include the cost of transportation, higher costs of real estate and labor in the mountains and the increased demand from tourists willing to pay higher transportation prices while on vacation.

Next up was Gary Lindstrom who agreed that free market forces and competition were the best way to insure fair pricing, but in reality something else was happening in Summit County. “When gas prices went to $3.00 a gallon in Denver they rose to $3.00 in Summit County, but when prices dropped to just over $2.00 in Denver why did they remain close to $3.00 in Summit County?”  Traditionally gas prices are around 10 cents a gallon more in the county, so why are they more than 40 cents higher now. Lindstrom has been asking these questions for several weeks with out adequate answers. He sees a consistency of prices around the county posted on the signs but has no reason why the prices are substantially more than in Denver.

Mr. Creamer, Manager of Stakeholder and Legislative Affairs at Suncor Energy U.S.A, did not have answers either, since he is not involved in marketing and sales. But he did provide some insight about the way gas is distributed from the refinery to local corporate and independent owners. He also talked about where gas is being developed for use in our state and elsewhere and what Suncor is doing to increase supply.

The next panelist was Randy Udall, who complimented Representative Lindstrom on his efforts to save Summit County families from having to pay excessive amounts for gasoline. His recent efforts may have helped to reduce the prices. He did point out that while $3.00 a gallon seems to be high, gasoline prices worldwide are significantly higher.. At the same time as China’s and India’s economies expand, worldwide oil production is leveling off. We need to be preparing for much higher energy costs and our leaders in government are not doing their job.

Tim Theis had an answer for higher prices, gas stations were charging higher prices because they could. He suggested that an organized boycott of local citizens could convince one station to lower its prices, and others would then follow suite.

Members of the audience were active through out the discussion, asking questions, providing background information, comparing pricing for other mountain communities and expressing their frustration with local gasoline pricing. Some members of the audience where local retailers who explained that th

This discussion helped residents understand the complexity of the issues, and vent their frustrations, though no one had the answer or resolution to the question of the night.



Meeting Minutes:

October 12 2006

September 14 2006

August 10, 2006

July 13, 2006

May 11, 2006

April 13, 2006

March 9,2006

February 9,2006

January 12, 2006

December 15, 2005

November 10, 2005

July 14, 2005

June 9, 2005

May 12, 2005

April 14, 2005

March 10, 2005

February 10, 2005: Detail