Monday, February 22, 2010

Gas Prices in Hawaii Are Really Messed Up. Why Is This?

In the last month I have been to the Big Island of Hawaii and last week I worked on the one town Island of Lanai. I live in on Maui and yet the gas prices in Kahului Town that are located within a mile or two of the holding tanks that supply them are constantly changing price and just driving around Kahului, it's possible to find gas prices ranging from $3.79.9 to $8.39.9 per gallon. We are only talking about blocks away. Maybe it's just the time it takes for the person to get out there to change the sign. Usually Kahului is about the same everywhere.

"Looks like it's hard to keep up with the changing of the prices"

"Only a few blocks away the price changes"

While on the Island of Hawaii last month, I drove through the town of Naalehu which is the very southern most point in the United States, let alone the Big Island of Hawaii. This place is about a two hour drive from Hilo where the gas is shipped in and their prices were less than Maui at about $3.53.9 per gallon. They drive for two hours to deliver to two gas stations and it's cheaper than Maui?

Last week on the Island of Lanai their gas price at the one and only gas station was well over $4.00 per gallon. I think like $4.39.9 per gallon. Their holding tanks at the harbor are a few miles away, but they are closer to the Island of Oahu where it's shipped in from in the first place. 

Then on the way home I noticed that gas prices in Lahaina were $3.77.9 per gallon and thats a 20 to 30 minute drive from the holding tanks! What is the deal? They are quick to raise the price, knowing people are hurting and out of work, but very slow to bring them back down, and then if they do it's only by a few cents.

I can drive up the Face of Haleakala on Maui to Kula Hardware and I have almost always seen them an average of 5 cents per gallon cheaper than Kahului. This is probably at least a 20 minute drive to carry a heavy load up a very steep hill and yet Kula Hardware consistantly charges less for their gas than Kahului.

A number of years ago, the Government decided to finally look into the Gas Companies pricing structure and after a very long time, it seems that they couldn't make sense of it all and gave up. The Governor tried to regulate them with no success and so the consumer continues to pay.

Today I stood next to an elderly Hawaiian Woman in the bank as I was trying to do some banking and she was going around and around with them over three $39.00 over-draft fees that she couldn't afford to pay. I don't even want to get started on the banks, except to say what ever you have to do, get out of debt!

With major Hawaii Corporations shutting down and laying of people with no regard to our economy, or in the case of one such company, trying to hold jobs for ransom over water rights to be able to control and build more homes that have lost value and no one can afford.

We need to have some way of getting these corporations out of controlling our lives by keeping the majority of people so under-paid, unemployed or afraid for their jobs that they will settle for anything to survive. The highest paid carpenters in the cities of India might make 75 cents a day and we are buying and shipping good from off island, instead of buying more and pushing more local food and supplies. Our Keiki (children) only go to school for 4 days a week because the State is to broke to pay the schools to allow a full 5 day work week. Then to top it off you get people like Joe Souki trying to bring back not one but two Super Ferries and have them subsidized by the State. Something is wrong with that picture if we can educate our kids, but can consider subsidizing a con-traversal project like bring back the Super Ferries to burn 600 gallons of fuel for each trip.

Well that's all I've got to add except that the answer is probably to get more educated and learn to provide for your families through new sources of income. Mine happens to be Internet and Consulting, because I know physically my brain will probably out last my physical endurance. So be on the look out for every chance to create a business and look into Vitec on Maui. They have excellent starter classes and often are discounted quite a bit.

Aloha for now!

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