Community member encourages students to help stop gas price hikes

Quiche Matchen

The price of gas is a never-ending topic, but Boston native Ed Caston has a lot to say about Bowling Green’s gas prices.

Caston said he traveled extensively before his retirement, and now being retired he noticed gas is usually more expensive here than 20 miles away.

“Nobody would give solutions to the gas being so expensive,” he said. “It’s been going on for years.”

Caston said he has written editorials to local newspapers and has started a petition to put an end to expensive gas prices.

After the editorials were published, he said he received phone calls from people he didn’t know that were outraged about the gas prices, but he didn’t receive any from gas retailers.

Caston said the petition already has 150 signatures and “it’s a drop in the bucket,” but that it’s just the beginning.

One of those signatures is Michael McDonald’s, a business and marketing education teacher at WKU, who also teaches economic content. He said he heard about the petition through another faculty member from an email.

“I’ve often wondered why Bowling Green’s gas price issues has been so neglected, especially by the press,” he said. “Every time someone brings something up about it, they’ll usually do something like come on campus and ask an economist why, and they’ll get a textbook answer about geographic location.”

McDonald said there’s never any in- depth look at why gas prices are so singularly high here and in all directions, it’s cheaper.

“That seems to be unusually odd when you’re on a major corridor like the I-65,” he said.

McDonald said our gasoline averages 20 cents higher than local cities, and that he thinks gas retailers do this because, simply, consumers will pay those prices.

“Who doesn’t sell their product for the price people are willing to pay?” he said. “We’ll pay it and they’re going to charge it.”

McDonald said the gas price issue is tied to the movement of students.

“When there’s a mass movement of influx in Bowling Green or exodus, they’re always going to raise it a day or two before and bring it down a day or two after,” he said.

McDonald said it’s hard to say it’s tied to supply because he’s never heard of Bowling Green gas stations running out of gas.

“They get supplied way more often than most people think,” he said. “It’s tied to demand; they know students are going to have to have gas, so they raise their prices and make a little extra profit.”

McDonald said he doesn’t know if they would find out anything illegal if the attorney general’s office investigated.

“It would be good for the population to know that it’s not the standard line answer that we’re this distance from refineries, or this distance from oil lines, trucking; that is not the case,” he said.

Nashville freshman Iman Graham said she doesn’t understand the gas price increase.

“I don’t know why different locations are different,” she said. “It’s hard for college students that have to pay for gas constantly because some are on a fixed income.”

Graham said she feels like she’s being ripped off.

Caston said he wants to spread the word that there is a working petition and spread awareness.

He encourages students to sign the petition and to help because any help they can give is appreciated.

“Students have to pay tuition and then are having to pay a high price for gas, and they need it the most,” he said.