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Monday, June 6, 2011

DC Area Gas Price Gouging II

A bit more first-hand data.  I drove back into the DC area last night (6/5), from Roanoke.  At Roanoke, I got gas for $3.40 per gallon.  On I-81 up to I-66, gas was commonly available at 3.49 per gallon.  I got it at exit 291 at that price (note that that's a 16 cent drop since the week earlier, when it was 3.65 per gallon at that exit).  Out of curiousity (and for the reason explained in the next post), I stopped again at the Sheetz at exit 40, and got 1.2 gallons of gas for 3.65 per gallon.  On the commute home today, I scoped out prices between Alexandria and Falls Church.  I spotted one at 3.97 (In Alexandria, I think), several in the 3.80's and one (the lowest) at 3.78.  So that's a disparity of 39-57 cents per gallon, compared to Roanoke. 

Bottom line is that you can see that there must be something approaching true competition (perhaps not "perfect competition"), down I-81, but something approaching oligopolistic behavior in the DC area.

Must be nice to sell gas in the DC area!

PS:  if any of my readers has a non-gouging explanation for this pricing behavior, let me know, and I'll publish it prominently.

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