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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 19, 2008 at 3:57 PM

Gasoline prices

They get what they can

One specific of The Times’ informative gas-price story is hard to accept: “… because Eastern Washington can buy its gas from refineries in Utah and Alberta, which could have lower prices than the Seattle-area gas [from Western Washington refineries]” [“State gas prices lowest since February 2006,” News, Nov. 12].

As Vice President-elect Joseph Biden recently said, “give us a break.”

Gas doesn’t come to Ellensburg or Othello in cross-state pipelines; it comes in tank trucks. Both are about 90 to 130 miles from Seattle, a two to three hour tanker drive, and surely only slightly more from some Yakima, Tri-City or Spokane distribution point.

An alert middle-school math and geography student could spot this fallacious excuse.

It’s called “zone pricing” — better labeled, “get what we can.”

This reader was in Othello and Ellensburg for Veterans Day. Gas was $2.27 in Othello and, get this — $1.95 at the Thorp-Ellensburg ARCO, the “refinery capitals” of the West, for regular grade.

— Don Gulliford, Mercer Island

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