One year after gas price investigation, little has changed

(WEAU) - "I think it’s kind of ridiculous,” said driver, Nikki.

Unleaded gas is now estimated to be approximately three dollars and fifty-four cents at Kwik Trip and Mega Holiday.

“I think they're a little crazy. Their going up and up and it doesn't make it any easier. So I mean I think they could go down a lot, " said driver Justin Kaiser.

City Councilwoman, Kathleen Mitchell, understands the frustration for Eau Claire drivers and wants a solution.

“It is time that we try to find-out and actually do have some research done so that we have some data that gives us a clear picture of what's happening,” said Councilwoman Kathleen Mitchell of District 3.

Councilman David Duax and a UWEC student discussed starting a policy research group, which would have students and faculty collaborate on local legislation. However, Duax says they will not be getting help from UW-Eau Claire at this time. He says the university wanted money to pay for faculty assistance, but the city can't do that.

Meanwhile people are not happy with the increase of gas prices lately and the biggest question is why does it keep going up?

“I don't think there’s any kind of major conspiracy going on. I think we would have found that out with the state level investigation,” said Mitchell.

While the Department of Justice determined no wrongdoing previously, Kathleen Mitchell feels the council should be concerned.

“I hate filling up, it always takes like fifty dollars out of my checking account like a week,” said Nikki.

While no new investigation has gotten rolling, the council will be discussing this issue at the next fiscal policy advisory meeting.

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  • by Teniel Location: Altoona on Feb 12, 2012 at 11:21 AM
    Why are people NOT boycotting the gas stations in Altoona & Eau Claire????
    • reply
      by Batman on Feb 13, 2012 at 08:47 AM in reply to Teniel
      Because the nickel that you save travelling to another town is barely worth it.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Feb 13, 2012 at 05:26 PM in reply to Batman
        If more people do it- it sends a clear message to the gas stations.
        • reply
          by Batman on Feb 15, 2012 at 05:16 PM in reply to
          Okay, let's all drive to Thorp. That'll teach 'em. Meanwhile, look at the gas you'll be wasting and extra expense you'll be stuck with. I believe writing the companies involved, your Congressman and/or the so-called president would be more effective. You boycott the local companies and you'll hurt your neighbors who work at these c-stores.
  • by Will Location: chippewa falls on Feb 12, 2012 at 11:17 AM
    Remember everyone, the gas mark up is not where their profits are, it is the food and snacks where gas stations make money. Continue to buy gas there but let them know you will punish them by purchsing snacks elsewhere if they don't lower prices. They MUST know about it too. We can do it. Pass this around and gas will be lower or at least the same as the rest of WI. Our taxes are different than MN so don't expect to pay MN prices in WI.
  • by Dave Location: EC on Feb 12, 2012 at 09:00 AM
    Until we, as the consumer, start boycotting stations owned by Kwik Trip and Mega and start hitting them in the pocket book, they will continue with their high prices. If you want groceries go to a grocery store! We will never turn this around and we will continue to pay the prices unless we as consumers start boycotting these places. Money and profits is the only thing that these companies understand!
    • reply
      by Will on Feb 12, 2012 at 11:13 AM in reply to Dave
      Dave, you got it. But here is the problem with getting enough people to do that so it makes a difference. People must have gas to go to work. You can't drive to get it. That won't work. You did say something that WILL WORK though. If we all do what I am about to say, the prices of gas will come in-line with the rest of the state. Here it is: Continue to purchase your gas from these stations, but tell them that you WILL NOT buy anything else there. ONLY GAS! They don't make the majority of profit from gas. It is the food, gum, cookies, pizza, etc. If they know that the only think people are going to buy is gas and we must all do it, and WE ALL CAN do it by purchaseing food at a hmmmm grocery store like you said. Then the prices would come down and then you can start buying snaks there again. But I think that is the only way the gas stations will know we mean business if we take away their profitable business. And there is no way we could get everyone to buy gas elsewhere because it would cost more in travel. So I think we should all set a day that we STOP buying anything but gas at ALL of the gas stations here and you will find that we can make a change. I am willing to start. But WE MUST tell the management/owner of our plan so they know what is about to happen. The owners are rich enough to withhold for awhile so we must be able to unite for a month or two in order for the plan to work. If they are smart owners/managers they will announce on the news media that they are willing to lower the prices in-line with the rest of the state before they see the damage we can do to their bottom line. Do you think the Chippewa Valley can do it? We will make national news in a heartbeat and better yet save at the pump!
    • reply
      by Batman on Feb 12, 2012 at 11:14 AM in reply to Dave
      Last I checked, the BP station on Birch St. and all of the Mobil-Exxon stations (except the one on Clairemont/Menomonie St.) had the very same price. They all are in this scheme.
    • reply
      by Teniel on Feb 12, 2012 at 11:23 AM in reply to Dave
    • reply
      by Landlooker on Feb 12, 2012 at 06:26 PM in reply to Dave
      That is very true! It is just that simple. Buy it in another town whenever you can, buy it from the small unaffiliated stations when you have to buy it here in town. It is ridiculous that I can save 700 a year by buying my gas in Osseo instead of in my hometown of Eau Claire. How can I support my local businesses if they are just out to rob us.
    • reply
      by Dad on Feb 12, 2012 at 07:08 PM in reply to Dave
      Most folks just don't seem to care. They are not informed because they don't want to be bothered. You and I are the only ones that seem to be boycotting KT.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Feb 13, 2012 at 05:28 PM in reply to Dad
        You're not alone!!! I gas up when I'm out of the area- EVERY chance I can- especially before returning to Eau Claire. Wasting the extra gas is worth it- to make a statement. Wish others would understand that concept also.
  • by Kate Location: EC on Feb 12, 2012 at 07:11 AM
    Just gassed up yesterday while in the Cities. Gas in Woodbury was 3.34, it was 3.44 in Hudson. It is 3.43 in La Crosse. I don't understand how Arcadia and Inedpendence are cheaper than Eau Claire. There obviously is price collusion...and there is nothing we can do about it but complain.
    • reply
      by Gary on Feb 12, 2012 at 10:28 AM in reply to Kate
      there is plenty we can do and you are doing it- buy gas elsewhere -
    • reply
      by Teniel on Feb 12, 2012 at 11:24 AM in reply to Kate
      BOYCOTT!!!!! Why pay it????
  • by Willy Location: Elmwood on Feb 12, 2012 at 06:01 AM
    Pretty soon its going to be like Mad Max around here, people pole vaulting onto tankers as this they come into town.
  • by Dave Location: Bloomer on Feb 11, 2012 at 07:59 PM
    The Minimum Markup Laws are part of the problem. As I understand the 'Law', The Min. Price is based on the geographic area nearest the major depot (Tank Farm). I believe 'Williams' owns / operates the Tank Farm / Pipeline in C.F. ... Thus THAT "sets" the price for this area.
  • by Mark on Feb 11, 2012 at 05:54 PM
    No one at Kwik Trip can tell me why they are always the first to raise prices and the last to lower them.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Feb 12, 2012 at 07:02 PM in reply to Mark
      They train them that way.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Feb 14, 2012 at 06:20 AM in reply to Mark
      Why would you expect a store clerk to know?
  • by Bee gi Bee on Feb 11, 2012 at 05:51 PM
    The reason is simple to deduce. Evey year around this time tax return money starts to roll in and the gas man wants to get a piece of that pie!
  • by Anonymous on Feb 11, 2012 at 05:49 PM
    I just filled up in Minnesota for $3.35 a gallon.
    • reply
      by mj on Feb 13, 2012 at 07:20 PM in reply to
      And got minimum 20%ethanol, mandated by law in Mn. Watch your mileage decline.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Feb 14, 2012 at 06:21 AM in reply to mj
        The mileage decline statement is so not true.
  • by pilot39 on Feb 11, 2012 at 05:01 PM
    So if the gas prices reach over the projected $4.00 a gallon this summer will it still be Bushes fault? I don't think so. Let's also remember that Obama's energy czar (Chen??) has made the comment that our US gasoline prices should reflect the European market price of around $8.00 per gallon. Let's face it we'll never get our economy under control until the energy prices get down to a reasonable level. Sorry but we can't run trucks, aircraft and buses on wind power. Meanwhile we have our honorable politicians (starting with Obama, although they all do it)flying around in 747's for fund raisers while telling us to conserve energy.
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