Citizen Telegram Letters to the Editor – May 15, 2014
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Swallow: We are not a monopoly
I would like to clear up some statements made by the editor of The Citizen Telegram and by some of the letters to the editors of the Telegram and the Glenwood Springs Post Independent about Swallow Oil Co.
First, we own and only supply gasoline to the Phillips 66 stations in Rifle and Parachute and to the Shell station in Rifle. And we supply gasoline to the other Phillips 66 stations from Silt to Woody Creek. Those dealers set their own prices, not us. We do not supply gas to any other outlets.
Secondly, we are not a monopoly and never have been. The Gopher store in Rifle is owned and operated by Monument Oil Co. in Grand Junction. And the largest convenience store chain in Rifle is the Kum & Go, whose home office is in Des Moines, Iowa, and have somewhere around 400 stores around the Midwest and the Rocky Mountains. If anyone could be the gasoline price setter, it would be them, not us. Maybe you should voice your complaints to them.
Third, as Mr. Collins stated, we don’t have the highest prices in the state. Just go up the Roaring Fork and Vail valleys. And there really are additive packages for gasoline from the major oil companies that are not in the unbranded gasolines that some stations sell.
Fourth, we do not donate to any political parties as Mr. Collins alludes to.
Welcome relief at the pump
It is a mystery to me why Mike McKibbin chose to dedicate so many column inches to a defense of Swallow Oil. (The Citizen Telegram, May 1, 2014). This is the company that has held multiple communities hostage for decades. Swallow Oil has never, to my knowledge, given a break to any customers at any time.
The truth is, we in the Colorado River Valley communities have paid inflated gas prices for years, and now City Market is offering us relief. I seldom find myself in the position of cheering on MegaCorp, but in this instance I have to say, “Praise the saints!”
I’m not sure that everybody in this area shares Kirk Swallows’ self-proclaimed view of his charitable largesse. I do want to say, though, that his remarks regarding City Market are off-base. When I have approached City Market to help with benefits that I have organized, they have always responded with courtesy, grace and generosity. They seem to feel a part of our community. Other people have commented similarly.
I hope that the employees of Swallow Oil can continue to prosper at their jobs. Maybe the Swallow family can make some concessions to repay the years of loyal service that their employees have given to the company.
Will City Market raise its prices? I don’t care if they do or don’t. I’m going to spend my dollars at a company that has indicated a positive connection to my community.
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Former Rifle Bears standout turned starting running back for Western Colorado University Ty Leyba remembers it like it was yesterday.