If you can pay, you can pump | PostIndependent.com

If you can pay, you can pump

Post Independent/Kelley Cox

Local gasoline retailers say their supplies are holding up well, despite some rumors of shortages.I heard that rumor and I dont know where that started, said John Curry, service and towing manager of Glenwood Amoco. We havent had any supply problems at all.Linda Rodriguez, a cashier at the Kum & Go in New Castle, said she doesnt know what the future will bring, but the station hasnt run out of gas yet, and just got another delivery Friday.Representatives with Bradley Petroleum in Glenwood Springs and a Kum & Go in Rifle also said their supplies have held up fine.Gas prices, already high, topped $3 per gallon this week after Hurricane Katrina disabled oil rigs and refineries in the Southeast.Kris Swallow, an owner of Swallow Oil in Glenwood Springs, said he hasnt had any problems getting gasoline for his distribution business.As far as my supplier, I havent had any notifications from him saying I cant get any fuel, he said.Swallow Oil supplies nine Phillips 66 stations in the area, and owns some of the stations. Swallow said hes heard people voicing fears about stations running out of gas.The whole nations talking like that, he said.He said hes not worried, and his supplier continues to assure him that gasoline will continue to be available.It just wont be cheap.Swallow said he gets criticism over prices because hes the one selling it to the consumer. But hes just passing along the rising rates hes being charged, he said.What Im supposed to do? Im just following along with what theyre doing to me.In fact, the higher the cost of gas is, the less Swallow makes percentage-wise on sales, he said. Thats because he keeps his markup at a certain number of cents per gallon, no matter what the retail price.He said hes watched the cost he pays per gallon for gas go up this week 18.5 cents one day, 25 cents the next, and 12 cents the third day. Its even gone up more than once per day, he said.He believes some of the high cost of gas is a result of the profits oil companies are making at refineries. Its possible that they also figured if they raise prices it would reduce consumption and extend supplies, Swallow said.I hope that it ends as soon as possible, he said of the price hikes.Curry said customers arent complaining much about gas prices at Glenwood Amoco.People realize its part of whats life right now, he said.He said a fair number of motorists do seem to be topping off their tanks, out of concern about what the future might hold.A Rifle Kum & Go employee who didnt want to be identified said she hasnt been seeing the same kind of behavior among customers there. Theyre just going to extra measures to pay for their gas purchases.Were getting a lot of people digging in the other shoe and digging out change, a few bucks here and a few bucks there, she said.Meanwhile, area station representatives contacted Friday said they hadnt noticed any increase in people driving off without paying for their gas since the recent surge in prices began.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. 516dwebb@postindependent.com

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