FUEL: High prices pinching gas station owners

Times Board of Economists - Report from Tom Collins, chief executive officer of Luke Oil
2013-07-21T00:00:00Z 2013-12-18T16:23:21Z FUEL: High prices pinching gas station ownersJoseph S. Pete joseph.pete@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com

High gas prices have squeezed the wholesale and retail gasoline industries, said Tom Collins, the chief executive officer of Luke Oil.

Motorists have been driving less since gas prices have been high and eclipsed $4 a gallon earlier this year.

Northwest Indiana had the highest gas prices in the country because BP’s Whiting Refinery cut back on production. Suppliers from the Gulf Coast then held back on their shipments to this area because they knew BP would get the facility back to full capacity later this year.

High prices hurts gas station owners, because they get dinged with credit card fees of 1.5 percent, Collins said.

The higher the gas prices, the smaller the margins, since credit cards fees are charged on a percentage basis and roughly 70 percent of motorists buy gas with credit cards.

Collins said there's still cause for optimism for the summer, when motorists drive more.

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