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Senator Concerned Price Reductions Aren't Reaching the Pump


Jan. 27, 2005 – Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg is concerned that Virgin Islanders are not benefiting from recent reductions in the price of fuel.
In a press release issued Thursday, Donastorg, chairman of the newly formed Senate Government Operations and Consumer Protection Committee, stated he would hold a committee meeting Feb. 23 to discuss the issue of gasoline prices.
Donastorg said his research indicates that Hovensa had lowered its prices by as much as 19 cents per gallon of gasoline. However, the prices for regular unleaded gasoline has remained "steady," particularly on St. Croix.
"We have one of the world's largest refineries right here, yet we are not benefiting," Donastorg said. "I am very tired of consumers being taken advantage of again and again. As of today, I am calling on all St. Croix retailers to lower the retail prices within the next 10 days in order to reflect the 19-cent reduction in wholesale gasoline prices."
Prices in the St. Thomas-St. John district have been slightly reduced since the Licensing and Consumer Affairs Department instituted a price cap in October. The restrictions implemented by the DLCA allows gasoline wholesalers and importers on St. Thomas and St. John a maximum profit of 30 cents per gallon.
However, Texaco Caribbean Inc. and Esso – two of the wholesalers in the St. Thomas-St. John district – have since sued the V.I. government because of the price caps. St. Croix does not have wholesalers. Retailers purchase directly from Hovensa.
"I truly hope that by the time this meeting is held, we will see a price reduction at the pump," Donastorg said. "I know that many of us will be watching closely."


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