The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

3 September 2005

Right up there with Y2k

We saw this before, when the prices first surged over one dollar:

Some gasoline stations are having a particularly difficult time keeping up with soaring prices because their antiquated pumps are incapable of charging more than $2.99 a gallon.

To get around the problem, the stations Friday received permission from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to use "half pricing," meaning the pump would read half the sales price, and the cost would be doubled inside the store. For example, $3.10 gasoline would be charged at $1.55 at the pump, but consumers would pay the cashier full price.

Anyone who lived through the previous gas crunches could have anticipated this sort of thing, which presumably includes this guy:

"Who would have ever thought prices would get so high we would have to worry about this?" said Vance McSpadden, executive director of the Oklahoma Petroleum Marketers Association.

McSpadden, in fact, owned four gas stations in 1973. He, of all people, should know better.

Posted at 10:09 AM to Say What? , Soonerland


TrackBack: 8:38 PM, 3 September 2005
» Petroleum Marketers can be funny. from Engine of the Future
In the Original Rant, I note the following … Cam Edwards interviewed Dan Gilligan, President of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America. When asked if we could be looking at 1977-1980 style gas lines for a few months, Mr. Gilligan respon......[read more]

Holy Cow! What is it with these xyz Petroleum Marketers Associations?

Cam Edwards interviewed Dan Gilligan, President of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America. When asked if we could be looking at 1977-1980 style gas lines for a few months, Mr. Gilligan responded :

"Oh God, I hope not."

From the President of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America we get "Oh God, I hope not". Now that's reassuring.

We're not going to "hope" our way out of this.

Posted by: Mel at 8:01 PM on 3 September 2005

Can't they find it in their hearts to drop that stupid .9 cents at the end?

Posted by: Dwayne "the canoe guy" at 10:40 PM on 3 September 2005

Well, at least at the stations which can't record three-dollar prices, if they double, say, $1.549, you end up with $3.098.

It's a start.

Posted by: CGHill at 10:48 PM on 3 September 2005

I don't think I've seen any stations here in west Georgia that can't handle $3-a-gallon pump prices.

There have been some stations that have managed somehow not to go above $2.999 for regular unleaded, but their higher grades all went over.

Pumps that can't register prices starting with $3 -- is that an oilpatch thing, or what?

Posted by: McGehee at 10:01 AM on 4 September 2005

It's called the "cheapest fix for an available problem," and it originated back in '73. A handful of stations still haven't replaced their pumps in those thirty-odd years, lest they be faced with having to upgrade or replace their underground storage tanks as well.

Almost any post-Seventies electronic-display pump can be reprogrammed, at least to $9.999 a gallon and perhaps higher.

Posted by: CGHill at 10:17 AM on 4 September 2005