Oil com­pa­nies once again goug­ing North­ern­ers

The Daily Press (Timmins) - - OPINION -

For years and years it has never failed to as­tound me how big com­pa­nies take every chance they get to gouge con­sumers.

as sad and dev­as­tat­ing as a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter such as hur­ri­cane har­vey is, big com­pa­nies seem to take such dis­as­ters for a rea­son to hike their prices and they al­ways do it im­me­di­ately. they claim that they them­selves have to buy the prod­uct or raw ma­te­rial at a higher price.

it is funny, though, how they al­ways are out of stock at the be­gin­ning of a cri­sis (and thus in need to buy) but at the end of it they claim to still have high-priced in­ven­tory for weeks. this, ac­cord­ing to them, is the rea­son why they can­not lower the prices (at the pump in this case) for a long time.

if i as a pri­vate per­son would al­ways stock my sup­plies at the high­est prices i would soon go bank­rupt. it strikes me as very odd, to say the least, that highly paid pro­fes­sion­als in charge of pur­chas­ing for big com­pa­nies seems to do just that.

i re­al­ize, of course, that there are lim­its to how com­pa­nies can man­age their in­ven­tory, stor­age ca­pac­ity be­ing a big one. Still, it is an al­most im­pos­si­ble co­in­ci­dent to al­ways be out of stock when prices are go­ing up and al­ways have in­ven­tory to ca­pac­ity when they come down.

So how much of those price hikes are re­ally due to hur­ri­cane har­vey and why are prices at the pump go­ing up in­stantly but then stay there for weeks? if the im­pact of clos­ing re­finer­ies is in­stan­ta­neous, why is the same not true for re-open­ing them?

Sue Reiser, Trout Creek

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