The East Oregonian's Aug. 1, front page story ("Who Decides?") about gas prices says pump prices are out of the hands of station owners and suppliers. This is highly questionable.

The article made many true statements, and some statements are understated like "overhead, profit and competition."

Here is my question: Why have Pendleton gas prices dropped 20 cents and Hermiston's only 10 cents? I doubt that Chevron Oil Co. in Texas said the prices in Hermiston could only drop 10 cents and more in Pendleton.

The last three years I have driven to Pendleton several times a month. Pendleton prices were very competitive to Hermiston prices until now. Pilot and Space Age, located on Interstate 84, were always cheaper on average by 5 cents. How can Pendleton be 10 cents cheaper than Hermiston? Is there a new tax in Hermiston? A tax in Pendleton stopped? Overhead changed in one city or competition change suddenly? I bet $10 the answer is "no."

Unless I am told how prices can stay high in Hermiston after the oil prices drop, and when the United States and Pendleton prices drop, I will continue to believe it is the gas company's greed to refuse to lower prices. I doubt that Chevron Oil Co. in Texas determined that Pendleton can drop its prices by 20 cents when Hermiston dropped only 10 cents.

Walter Hammermeister


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