No easy answers for high gas prices - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

No easy answers for high gas prices

Posted: Updated:
BURLINGTON, Vt. -

The mystery over gasoline prices in Vermont continues. Even U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders is investigating, and called for a federal probe into unusually high prices. Chittenden County prices have traditionally been among the highest in the state.

"I say there is something wrong and I have noticed and a lot of people have noticed. People in northern Vermont have noticed when the same company owning a gas station in the Burlington area is charging -- as was the case just a couple of weeks ago -- something like 23 cents more for a gallon of gas as their company did in Middlebury," Sanders said.

The owner of those stations is R.L. Vallee.  WCAX-TV was not able to company president Skip Vallee.

One independent gas station owner, Vince Dattilio, who has been in business for 46 years agrees that prices are too high in Chittenden county. "I think they are outrageous. I think they are too high. I think these guys  are getting a lot of money -- somebody is, it isn't me. I make 3 cents per gallon. They make the rest so they are gauging us is what they are doing," he said.

Dattilio says he calls his supplier, A R Sandry from Greenfield, Massachusetts, almost every day asking about lowering the prices.  They have the Sunoco franchise in this area and own many of the stations. Dattilio is one of the few independent owners.

"They are unruly. My opinion is they make up what they loose on other highways. The prices are low in other places and we make it up in Chittenden County," he said.

But explaining just how gasoline is priced is no easy task. The gasoline comes from different sources for different parts of the state, which dealers say effects the price. There are other costs as well.

"There is a lot of variables.  There is credit card fees, the cost of operation trucking -- variety of issues -- no easy answer on how gas prices move," said Jim Harrison with the Vermont Grocer's Association. "Competition is paramount and the important part is people are looking at the pump just as consumers are.

Senator Sanders has suggested that Costo should be allowed to sell gasoline here. The retail giant usually charges on average about 19 cents less a gallon and the competition, Sanders said, would help drive gas prices down. Costo has been trying to get permits for its store in Colchester. The plan is currently hung up in the permitting process. It is not a popular idea with fuel dealers or the Grocer's Association.

"It is also interesting and perhaps ironic that Senator Sanders is pulling Costo into this debate and issue and railing against small family owned businesses and distributors who work very hard to give back to the community," Harrison said.

"It is not a question of being pro Costco or anti Costco, it is a question of making sure people in a whole section of Vermont do not get ripped off in terms of high prices they are paying for gasoline," Sanders said.

In June, according to the Oil Price Information Service, an independent fuel price research firm, Burlington was the most lucrative gas market in the Northeast.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Rutland pharmacist accused of stealing meds

    Rutland pharmacist accused of stealing meds

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:43 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:43:47 GMT
    In Rutland a pharmacist is accused of stealing meds from his employer. 32-year-old Brandon Cigana worked at the Walgreens Pharmacy on Woodstock Avenue. Prosecutors say he used his position there to access the pharmacy's inventory stealing regulated drugs like benzodiazepines, Hydrocodone and Suboxone for himself without a prescription. The Whitehall, New York man faces up to two years behind bars.More >>
    In Rutland a pharmacist is accused of stealing meds from his employer. 32-year-old Brandon Cigana worked at the Walgreens Pharmacy on Woodstock Avenue. Prosecutors say he used his position there to access the pharmacy's inventory stealing regulated drugs like benzodiazepines, Hydrocodone and Suboxone for himself without a prescription. The Whitehall, New York man faces up to two years behind bars.More >>
  • Drug bust in Burlington's Old North End

    Drug bust in Burlington's Old North End

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:04 GMT
    Police made a drug bust Wednesday night in Burlington's Old North End. Police and the U.S. Marshal's raided this home on Cedar Street around 8 o'clock. They say they seized heroin and cocaine. Six people were inside when authorities went in. But they're not saying how many arrests were made. The raid was part of an ongoing drug investigation.More >>
    Police made a drug bust Wednesday night in Burlington's Old North End. Police and the U.S. Marshal's raided this home on Cedar Street around 8 o'clock. They say they seized heroin and cocaine. Six people were inside when authorities went in. But they're not saying how many arrests were made. The raid was part of an ongoing drug investigation.More >>
  • Fire damages Lyndonville tree farm

    Fire damages Lyndonville tree farm

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:21 GMT
    Fire has damaged ten acres of a Lyndonville tree farm. Eight department were called in to battle the blaze. And it took four hours to get the flames under control. Fire officals say a discarded cigarette combined with dry conditions are to blame. One firefighter suffered from minor smoke inhalation.More >>
    Fire has damaged ten acres of a Lyndonville tree farm. Eight department were called in to battle the blaze. And it took four hours to get the flames under control. Fire officals say a discarded cigarette combined with dry conditions are to blame. One firefighter suffered from minor smoke inhalation.More >>
  • A warning for bird watchers: Give eagles space

    A warning for bird watchers: Give eagles space

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:36 GMT
    Bird watchers are being reminded to give nesting bald eagles plenty of space. The Vermont Fish Wildlife Department is urging anyone who sees a nesting eagle not to get closer than 300 feet. Activity too close to their nest can result in them abandoning their young. Harassing a bald eagle is illegal and a violation of the state endangered species statute.More >>
    Bird watchers are being reminded to give nesting bald eagles plenty of space. The Vermont Fish Wildlife Department is urging anyone who sees a nesting eagle not to get closer than 300 feet. Activity too close to their nest can result in them abandoning their young. Harassing a bald eagle is illegal and a violation of the state endangered species statute.More >>
  • Gun fired into New Haven home

    Gun fired into New Haven home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:48 GMT
    Police are searching for who fired a gun into a home in New Haven. It happened late Tuesday night at 2420 Munger Street. Police say a bullet passed through a window of the home. Luckily no one was hurt. Investigators say a stop sign at the intersection of Munger Street and Cobble Road had also been shot. Anyone with information should call state police.More >>
    Police are searching for who fired a gun into a home in New Haven. It happened late Tuesday night at 2420 Munger Street. Police say a bullet passed through a window of the home. Luckily no one was hurt. Investigators say a stop sign at the intersection of Munger Street and Cobble Road had also been shot. Anyone with information should call state police.More >>
  • What triggered a shooting inside the Bennington police station?

    What triggered a shooting inside the Bennington police station?

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:57 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:57:35 GMT
    A Bennington man is in stable condition after being shot by an officer inside the Bennington Police Department. Investigators say Gregory Filo had a knife and was behaving erratically.More >>
    A Bennington man is in stable condition after being shot by an officer inside the Bennington Police Department. Investigators say Gregory Filo had a knife and was behaving erratically.More >>
  • Former Fortune 500 exec indicted in fatal NH crash

    Former Fortune 500 exec indicted in fatal NH crash

    A New Hampshire grand jury has indicted a former Fortune 500 executive on second-degree murder charges in connection with a crash that killed a Vermont couple in December.More >>
    A New Hampshire grand jury has indicted a former Fortune 500 executive on second-degree murder charges in a crash that killed a Vermont couple in December.More >>
  • Convicted Vt. embezzler charged with stealing from employer

    Convicted Vt. embezzler charged with stealing from employer

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:24 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:24:36 GMT
    Nearly two decades after her first conviction, a white-collar criminal returns to court once again charged with stealing from her employer. More >>
    Nearly two decades after her first conviction, a white-collar criminal returns to court once again charged with stealing from her employer.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.