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Still no answers to Marquette-area gas questions

Where we stand

September 16, 2012
The Mining Journal

In a recent editorial we got excited because we were not showing the highest average gas prices among the four largest cities in the Upper Peninsula. Iron Mountain was 1 cent higher than us one day.

That did not last long. On Monday Sept. 10, we checked on the Gas Buddy website we found that Marquette was once again the highest by 12 cents per gallon.

Escanaba, Iron Mountain and Houghton were all 12 cents cheaper per gallon than Marquette.

Can someone please tell us why we are 12 cents per gallon higher than the other three cities?

We have been told that Marquette gas prices are higher because we are further away from Green Bay than Iron Mountain and Escanaba and that raises the distribution cost to Marquette.

We have done the math and if you figure the cost of distribution from Escanaba and Iron Mountain to Marquette, we would be willing to accept an increase of 2 cents per gallon.

When you divide the additional distribution cost to Marquette by 11,000 gallons - which is the capacity of some of the tankers delivering gas to Marquette - you could justify an increase of maybe 2 cents per gallon to Marquette.

If we were within 2 cents per gallon of Escanaba and Iron Mountain, we would be much more understanding of the gas prices in Marquette.

We are not sure what to do with that same equation however when it comes to the price of gas in Houghton.

If distribution cost were 2 cents per gallon higher in Marquette, then you would expect the price of gas to be 4 cents to 5 cents per gallon higher in Houghton because of additional distribution cost.

That doesn't work, because on Monday gas in Houghton was 12 cents per gallon cheaper than Marquette.

In the past, Houghton has had the cheapest gas of the four cities and many times they have been 15 cents to 25 cents per gallon less than Marquette. Can someone from the Upper Peninsula Petroleum Association explain to us why Marquette is higher?

We will rent an auditorium and invite the public to come and hear you explain the math and reasons as to why Marquette usually has the highest price in the area.

We have made this offer several times in the past and we feel it is time that the UPPA gets in front of the community to explain the high price of gasoline in Marquette.

If you come up with a reasonable answer to our question, we will quit asking. If we don't get a reasonable answer to our question, we will keep asking the question -over and over again.

We understand that in some cases there is not much of a mark-up or profit on a gallon of gas for local gas stations.

What we don't understand is why Marquette usually gets the distinction of having the highest price of gas among Houghton, Iron Mountain and Escanaba.

If stations in those markets can sell gas for 12 cents per gallon less than Marquette and still make a profit, why can't stations in Marquette?



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