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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions


By David G Hanger


January 17, 2015
Saturday PM

I would say it’s a bit tone deaf, if not downright politically stupid, for our new governor to call for an increase in taxes on the oil companies, particularly when the primary problem most Alaskans are enduring with this bunch is insanely high prices for a gallon of gas at the pump. While I don’t disagree with the governor that his predecessor was completely sold out, bought and paid for, by the oil companies, the taxing of oil as it comes out of the ground is a long-term problem, and right now we have a short-term problem with our gasoline wholesalers stealing SE Alaskans blind. We are talking tens of millions of dollars, if not more, that is being illegally raked off by this filthy monopoly. All laws for robbery, burglary, and theft in the state of Alaska should be suspended and not enforced until this monopolistic crap is cleaned up. Why bust a bunch of small timers when you let the biggest thief of all steal from everyone day in and day out???!

Last June while visiting family in Washington state I duly noted that the local price for gasoline was $3.89 a gallon at a time when the price in Ketchikan for that same type of gasoline was $4.10. Today that price is $2.39 in the Vancouver area, $2.09 in the Seattle area. At $2.60 a gallon, therefore, our gasoline wholesaler would make exactly the same amount of profit that he was making back in June when he was charging $4.10 a gallon. That is how much of a damned crook this guy is.

This one slime ball has the gall to think he can define the world on his terms only, and to charge a massive surtax on every Alaskan who is trapped into buying his product. As governor of this state you need to do something about this crap now. Get this monopoly off our backs, and let us operate in a competitive economy. The reduction in fuel prices in 2014 averaged $1200 a family, money those folks sorely need to make ends meet, and while everyone else in this country gets that benefit, we get nothing!!!!! This bastard has put all of that benefit into his one-and-only pocket.

In the past month the price of gasoline in Ketchikan has actually dropped from $4.10 to $3.47, which is nothing more nor less than a big slap in the face with a rotten fish. The actual price for a gallon of gasoline at the pump in Ketchikan right now should be $2.40 to $2.60 a gallon; the difference is the crook in our midst who continues to steal us blind day in and day out.

You are quite correct, Guv, that reduced oil prices will also inevitably reduce the Permanent Fund Dividend, increase local taxes, and result in increased user fees for government services. But dealing with all those consequences of a previous corrupt and horrid administration is only one part of this problem. Reducing the prices of gasoline at the pump, so SE Alaskans aren’t getting hit from all directions simultaneously is also a big part of the problem you need to solve. Get these damned, crooked monopolists off our backs.

If all these jerks can do is steal from us, a regulatory agency needs to be established to set the price of the product until such time this monopoly is completely eradicated. There are very good reasons why monopolies are illegal, and this is the most blatant example of that I have ever seen. (And, no, the barge crap does not fly. That is just topping off dirt bagging with bad management.)

Who are you working for, Governor? We are anxiously awaiting your answer. Raising taxes was the first thing you put in writing for us to see. How about reducing consumer costs by taking on the monopolists being the second?

David G. Hanger
Ketchikan, Alaska


Received January 15, 2015 - Published January 17, 2015

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