What Is a Fair and Reasonable Price for a Gallon of Gas?

Week of October 6, 2004

Oct 6, 2004 at 4:00 am
Janet Savage
Vocalist, Project 3
"I think about 90 cents, no more than a dollar -- well, maybe a little bit over a dollar -- $1.10, $1.15 -- but definitely no more than that, 'cause I hate paying more than $1.25. Oh, I pay the price, whatever it is, but I don't like it, and I don't drive as much as I used to either. Somebody's making beaucoup money off this, and it ain't us."

"Fast Eddie" Sholar Jr.
Co-owner, Fast Eddie's Bon-Air -- Alton, Illinois
"Around $1.50. That's fair. I don't know much about the industry, what it takes to get it into my tank, but I think they could sell it for $1.50 and still make their profit. Still, I don't think it's as out of control as everybody thinks. We've gotten off easy, paying cheaper prices than the rest of the world does because we're a superpower. It was inevitable; eventually we're going to pay the same steep prices everybody else pays."

Scott Durham
Freelance Sound Engineer
"No more than $1.50. $1.80 -- even $2 -- is out of line. And it's not the gas-station owner's fault, because he buys it and he's only making so many cents per gallon, yet the oil companies' profits have been at record [highs]. They're greedy, using the war as an excuse; meanwhile no watchdog is willing to point the finger and say, 'Hey, Exxon, Shell, you're gouging the consumers.' The high prices are coming from the top."

Melissa Mobley
Organizer, St. Louis Cardinals National League Champions Victory Parade
"I think a fair and reasonable price would be 10 percent of the current minimum wage. If minimum wage goes up, then gas goes up too. Also, I think that if you fill your tank you should get a prize, like a tallboy or a Slim Jim or, my personal favorite, a white-chocolate Kit-Kat bar."

Phillip Laney
Journeyman Taper/Plasterer, Kwame Builders Group
"Well, given the high cost of tags, insurance, your car loan, mortgage and all the other things related to living, I think gas should be around $1.26 per gallon. Sounds reasonable. I think America can live with that. And this nine-tenths of a cent: What's up with that? I'm trying to figure why they tack that on. I guess they know they're gonna get you for the next dollar, so you're just one-tenth away from being gouged."

Gail H. Capelovitch
Special Accounts Manager, INTRAV
"For all of the technical know-how this country has to offer, the lack of an alternative energy source to power your automobile is criminal. We are all at the beck and call of the oil lobby -- and I'm a Republican!"