Following area gas prices a full-time job for newspaper

We have not done an editorial on gas recently, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been paying attention to the price of gas in the Marquette area. The Mining Journal keeps track of the price of gas via the GasBuddy website.

As it has been in the past, there have been several weeks when AAA reports the highest price of gas in the state and the lowest price of gas in the state. We still have been identified as the highest on occasion in the state through the AAA report. The good news here, though, is that we have also been identified as the lowest in the state on occasion. We really can’t identify a reason why we are the highest or lowest in our region when it happens. It just happens that way.

On Friday, we checked in with GasBuddy around 10:30 a.m. and found the following information: The price of gas in Marquette was $2.59 per gallon at Krist and $2.69 per gallon at Holiday. In Escanaba, the price of gas was $2.83 per gallon at Krist, $2.83 at Holiday and $2.83 at Meijer. In Houghton, the price of gas was $2.64 per gallon at Krist and $2.64 at Holiday. In Iron Mountain, the price of gas was $2.64 at Krist, $2.64 at Holiday and $2.59 at Murphy USA.

When this editorial was written, the price of gas at Krist in Marquette was $2.59 per gallon, but before noon gas went up to $2.83 per gallon, a 24-cent jump. By about 3:30 p.m., the price went back down at Krist to $2.58.

First, we want to congratulate the Marquette area stations for being competitive, as is obvious by comparing the price per gallon that we were paying on Friday with the other regions in our area. We hope to see that is the trend of the future. It seems like areas that have a Murphy USA station in their market helps keep the price lower for the entire region.

We also watched Meijer when they opened in Escanaba and they also seemed to be lowering prices in that area. The earlier information in this editorial, however, shows that on the day we checked, Meijer was 24 cents per gallon more expensive in Escanaba than Krist was in Marquette.

The new Meijer gas station is scheduled to open, according to a recent press release, on April 24. We hope once it opens that it will help keep the price of gas in the Marquette area competitive.

We had hoped that when the Ojibwa Express opened in Marquette that it would be more competitive with the price of gas, but that did not happen. We never supported the Ojibwa station being able to sell gas for less because of tax breaks given to them like the Pines station in Baraga, which is on reservation land and doesn’t have to pay as much in state taxes as competitors. We simply hoped that the Ojibwa station would be more competitive on pricing, which would help lower the cost per gallon in the region.

We appreciate the fact that local gas stations have to make a profit on gas to continue to provide the service. If we had not for years been recognized consistently as having the highest price of gas in the state of Michigan by AAA, we would not have kept such a close eye on the price of gas in the Marquette area.

As of Friday, we’re happy to report that Marquette was competitive on gas prices in the state of Michigan and also competitive on gas prices in our region. We hope this trend continues in the future and we stay off the AAA report for having the highest price of gas in the state of Michigan.

Years ago, we were hit with a boycott by many gas stations because of our reporting on Marquette having the highest price of gas in the state. They quit selling our newspapers to show their displeasure over our reporting on the price of gas.

For the most part, the boycott only lasted for a couple of weeks and the majority of the stations started selling the newspaper again. The only stations still boycotting us years later is the Crossroads Mini Mart at the corner of Marquette County Road 480 and M-553, and the Kountry Korner in Gwinn.

We hope we don’t have to have any more battles with the gas stations in the future, and as long as they stay competitive with pricing, we will not have to report on the Marquette area having the highest prices of gas in the state.


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