Home News Local news GAS PRICES SPARK CALLS FOR HEARINGS

GAS PRICES SPARK CALLS FOR HEARINGS

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The low cost of gasoline on St. Croix compared to the high cost in the St. Thomas-St. John district has at least one V.I. senator up in arms.
Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg said the average cost of gas on St. Croix is 96 cents per gallon compared to nearly $2 on St. Thomas and St. John. Because of the "outrageous" disparity he is calling for Senate hearings on the issue.
In an Oct. 12 letter to Sen. Gregory Bennerson, chairman of the Government Operations Committee, Donastorg called for a hearing that would include representatives from HOVENSA, gas station owners, the Industrial Development Commission and the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs.
"It is high time that we determine exactly why St. Johnians and St. Thomians are paying nearly twice as much for gasoline as their St. Croix counterparts," Donastorg wrote. "In these fiscally difficult times it is simply shameful that consumers in one district continue to be gouged this way."
Donastorg also requested that Sen. David Jones’ Committee on Economic Development, Agriculture and Consumer Protection look into the price difference as soon as possible.
Donastorg said the Legislature "must" establish a fair-pricing policy throughout the territory, through either the IDC, the DLCA or another entity.
Meanwhile, DLCA Commissioner Andrew Rutnik said Texaco gas station operators told him Thursday that they will drop the price of gas 10 cents a gallon once they deplete current inventories.
He agreed with Donastorg that gas retailers needed to be scrutinized to ensure their "profits aren’t out of hand." Rutnik said the main reason for the high prices in the St. Thomas-St. John district was the use of wholesalers between the supplier, HOVENSA, and the gas stations.
"We need to put some pressure on the wholesalers," he said.

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