Home > Arcata, Humboldt County > Gas pains

Gas pains

Arcata’s Joel Sonenshein sings the $4/gallon blues.

  1. March 4, 2011 at 1:29 am

    Gas prices have spiked about 50 cents since Feb. 1, and are likely to continue rising for some time. It went up 6 cents overnight, and now I hear Libyan oil facilities are on fire. Time to get ready for $5 real soon.

  2. Walt
    March 4, 2011 at 5:45 am

    If all the gas in Hum Co didn’t come from Chevron refineries on Chevron barges to Chevron storage tanks, do you suppose we would be paying less for gas? Nah.

  3. Ponder z
    March 4, 2011 at 6:05 am

    the big picture is out El Presidente wants, and is being encouraged to let the middle East burn. (Good for big oil). This in turn will cause a fake oil shortage. The El presidente is also heavily restricting oil production is this country. Another fake cause to raise oil prices. His (administrations) objective is to drive up oil so mass transit will be plausible. You know high speed rail. A joke of an oxymoron in itself. Just think about it, you want to go to a liberal protest in Sacramento. So you could hop the HSR, buzz over to Redding and down to Sac. BUT no rail to Redding yet. And the Eel river line is collapsing. Anyway lets say we can go to Redding and on to Sac, at 75mph. Stop and go at every town along the way. Your trip will cost $250. and take 5 hours. And the whole system would have to be subsidised by the Gov. because we don’t have enough riders.

  4. Chris Rall
    March 4, 2011 at 6:23 am

    This’d be a good time to think about how Humboldt could plan to deal with higher gas prices by giving people options that enable them to drive less if they choose. The General Plan, Imagine Humboldt and the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (that precedes the housing elements of the cities and County) could be used to encourage future housing development close to where people need to get to and “complete streets” that are safe to walk, bike, ride transit and drive on.

    Giving people the flexibility to drive less would be one way for Humboldt to reduce the negative impact of increasing gas prices on the local economy, since most of that money flows straight out-of-county to regions that have refineries and oil production.

    Hard to figure out why that’s so controversial in Humboldt, but I guess some people want everyone to keep paying for gas no matter how much it costs.

  5. Anonymous
    March 4, 2011 at 6:54 am

    It’s hard for some people to admit, but the “rural lifestyle” isn’t very environmentally friendly. Being close to work, schools, and shopping and having centralized sewage and garbage disposal represents a much lower impact lifestyle. There is an exception for folks totally off the grid, but if you’re driving the F350 down the hill each day, then you can’t claim to much of a “oneness” with the environment even if your home on the hill is surrounded by trees.

  6. Plain Jane
    March 4, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Symptom of peak oil: Foreclosures higher in suburbia


  7. High Finance
    March 4, 2011 at 7:27 am

    This is a Robin Arkley conspiracy to fund his takeover of America.

  8. Pitchfork
    March 4, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Great distraction Hi-Fried, but that’s the one thing he’s not involved in.
    Libya represents 1% of US oil imports but is being blame for 10% of the price.

  9. Sam Spade
    March 4, 2011 at 8:30 am

    According to Hi-Fi “In a free market, the rule of supply & demand is absolute.” Unless one gas company controls all the distribution on one county. Notice how Renner gas near in California near the Oregon border cost much less than in Humboldt County? Must be cheaper to ship the gas to Crescent City. How can people repeat the lie that a truly “free market” exist when is so blatantly obvious even to a smart fifth grader that prices are constantly being manipulated? How many 60 Minutes investigations have we seen where, for example, Kathy Lee children’s wear was being made by children in Guatemalan factories for one third of one percent per garment of the retail price! They could have tripled the children’s wages and it still would have been one whole percent of the retail price. Since they are screwing the children of Guatemala over, do they pass the savings on to us? No. The pricing of production and retail is not “free”, it’s completely under control. But Mother Culture and her local siren Hi-Fi keep singing that lie over and over again so we don’t work toward change. We are competing with third world children for work and they keep raising prices. I wonder how much third world oil derrick workers make per hour?

  10. skippy
    March 4, 2011 at 8:44 am

    An engineer once explained what a real bargain gasoline is: the high amount of combustible power contained in a relatively small mass (as opposed to electricity, batteries, steam, etc), drawn out of the ground far away as crude, refined through a complex process and reliably transported through infrastructure conveniently to your carside, weighing in at 6.5 pounds per gallon (gas weighs less than water and varies with type and temperature). At $4 a gallon. He had a good point.

    Richard Marks, however, wondered about the rising price at his his Samoa Softball site, saying:

    Help me understand this. Our largest supplier of oil is Canada, by a long shot. Between Canada, Mexico and Venezuela we receive over 40% of all our imported oil. We buy very little oil from Egypt (Ranked 31st of Suppliers to US) and Libya (Ranked 20th of Suppliers to US). Less than 1% of our total! So if we took both off the list all together, shouldn’t we just have a 1% increase in gas prices instead of 10%? Are they just used as an excuse for these inflated gas prices? Even as screwed up as Iraq is, they supply 5% of our oil supply. Someone please explain coherently.

  11. March 4, 2011 at 8:48 am

    We should be paying London prices for gas. If we took away all the subsidy being paid out by the federal government to the oil companies and the oil-producing countries; we would be paying $10 a gal. Which is the real un-supported price. So, I’ve already resigned myself to that fact. It will peak out and remain level at $10. Face it, we can’t keep spending our infrastructure and the lives of our youth just to keep the price artificially low. It’ll be world war III before they get that pipeline across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, built. And even then it won’t help us. In fact nothing will ever help us, the common working person. There are no rules to protect us from being robbed by the “corporations as self-made necessities.”
    Not in the New American Century.

  12. Anonymous
    March 4, 2011 at 9:04 am

    HiFi lost the “free market” argument when he advocated that Eureka City Schools restrict access to charter schools (Fuente Nueva at Jefferson) to maintain their monopoly on mediocre education. Free market, my ass.

  13. Plain Jane
    March 4, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Where the oil comes from is irrelevant. All oil is sold on the global market, including that produced domestically, which makes it hilarious that people think we would have lower gas prices with more domestic production.

  14. March 4, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Prices aren’t increasing because of lack of actual demand, hence why US gas is going up despite the fact we get little of our oil from North Africa. What is driving prices is speculation on futures, i.e. Wall Street. Futures are increasing because of predicted obstruction of oil from the Middle East now and moving forward due to the current crisis.

    In other words, this is a stock market-driven price hike

  15. anadromous
    March 4, 2011 at 9:09 am


    98 tons
    it is theorized;
    the distilled remains of species long since departed.
    Concentrated essence of dinosaur and tree fern,
    Forests primeval boiled down to this
    black ooze,
    bitter syrup.
    Eons of life distilled down
    for this
    journey to the beach,
    to the movies.
    98 tons of life
    for this
    gallon of gasoline.

  16. March 4, 2011 at 9:10 am

    I meant supply, not demand. Oops.

  17. Anonymous
    March 4, 2011 at 9:22 am

    It is a bit disturbing that someone so involved in local politics/decision making – Richard Marks, doesn’t understand the basic economics associated with global gasoline prices. “help me understand…” Does he not understand the how the market works? You may not like the system, and one can argue that we have local gouging, but global pricing is nothing new and something I expect community “leaders” to understand.

  18. Mitch
    March 4, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Well thank goodness Washington won’t raise a carbon tax. It would be terrible to think that we’d be reducing consumption by having to pay for our government, as opposed to reducing our consumption by having to pay for middle east despots.

  19. anadromous
    March 4, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Lots of great insight here. Our contemporary society takes oil for granted – we are burning it like it will last forever. Millions of years in the making – 98 tons of organic matter to create one gallon of gasoline. Skippy hits on an important point: even at $5/gallon, it is an extreme bargain.

    Waste is a result of bad design, and when it comes to how we build our communities, we are extremely wasteful. I agree with Chris Rall’s post entirely – we need to do better. We need to Update the General Plan and participate in imagining our future.

  20. Plain Jane
    March 4, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Libya’s oil production has decreased by 300,000 to 400,000 barrels per day so without any decrease in demand, oil is more expensive no matter where it comes from. It’s that old supply and demand thingy that conservatives claim to know all about.

  21. Plain Jane
    March 4, 2011 at 10:01 am

    “The market’s decline would be worse without energy stocks, which were rocketing with crude prices. Exxon Mobil was up $2.04 to $87.48, Chevron gained $2.77 to $103.10 and ConocoPhillips jumped $2 to $78.61.”


  22. Plain Jane
    March 4, 2011 at 10:08 am

    You’re missing the point of how profitable despots are for the arms manufacturers, Mitch. And other multinational corporations as well. If there weren’t any despots we wouldn’t need to spend more than the rest of the world combined on “defense” and our corporate citizens wouldn’t have despots to bribe so would have to follow the law, a much more expensive way of doing business.

  23. Anonymous
    March 4, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Supply and demand is appropriate in a typical business situation, traditional economics. The world has become more complicated than that, and economic theory must include higher doses of politics and world problems to add to the mix.

  24. 69er
    March 4, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Sam Spade should get his facts straight before he spouts off. The Renner that supplies far north Cal is a different Renner, that supply comes from Oregon and always has.

  25. 69er
    March 4, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Our Renner also gets his fuel to distribute from the Chevron fuel depot which brings it in on barges.

  26. Mitch
    March 4, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Jane, Jane, Jane,

    We don’t pay much for defense, not nearly as much as we do for foreign aid. Just ask Fox.

    Here, check out the numbers for yourself:


  27. Anonymous
    March 4, 2011 at 10:23 am

    your prog logic never ceases to amuse me. You hate big corporations but buy gas. You do realize gas comes from big corporations right?

  28. Mitch
    March 4, 2011 at 10:24 am

    If you’re interested in that link just above, here’s another:


  29. March 4, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Europeans would be doin’ doughnuts of joy in their Peugeots if they had our gas prices. Latest numbers: $7.58 a gallon in Italy; $8.06 in the U.K., $8.21 in Germany, and $8.99 in the Netherlands. Of course, everyone rides bikes in the Netherlands.

  30. Mitch
    March 4, 2011 at 10:26 am


    Your retro logic never ceases to amaze me. You hate progressives but love the 40 hour work week, anti-child labor laws, Social Security, and Medicare National Health Insurance.

  31. Plain Jane
    March 4, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Maybe Ryan. But obviously given the choice of cleaner air, affordable health care, and healthier lifestyles or taxes subsidizing oil for lower prices at the pump, they chose the former. They’re all socialist anyway.

  32. Plain Jane
    March 4, 2011 at 10:38 am

    and they have excellent train systems.

  33. A-Nony-Mouse
    March 4, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Having to drive a Peugot is another reason to squack
    about high gas prices!
    There is no logical reason for Eureka gas to be almost 50 cents above State averages. Shipping? HA! Costco, for all their prices are relatively high (compared to other Costco’s), manages to truck it in and still beat local prices by a large amount.

    And if you think your gas price is high, try diesel.
    Supposedly Diesel is less refined and more is produced per barrel of oil. So why is it at least 10 cents a gallon HIGHER than gas? Are we gouging the customers? Oh no, not us!

  34. Anonymous
    March 4, 2011 at 10:43 am

    130.68 pence = 1.31 GBP.

    1.31 GBP = 213.20 USD.

    Where does Bloomberg get $8.06 a gallon?

  35. Anonymous
    March 4, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Oops, $2.13 USD.

  36. Sam Spade
    March 4, 2011 at 10:58 am

    69er. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that wages have been flat for 40 years and prices have been on the climb. All this while jobs have been being exported to wage-slaves earning pennies per hour. A home in America in the 60’s cost about two years average pay. Even with the dip in prices, now it is about four years pay. In 2005 it was about seven. That is true for gasoline, food, cars, everything. Relative to average income, everything has doubled in the past 40 years. So my observation about one gas station does not detract from the fact that due to greed, Americans have one half the buying power they had only one generation ago. Taking a dig at me is no substitute for sound logic.

  37. Sam Spade
    March 4, 2011 at 11:05 am

    “Europeans would be doin’ doughnuts of joy in their Peugeots if they had our gas prices” Ryan, you get what you pay for. Argentine people pay less taxes but had a tax revolt because they perceived they were being ripped off. Norwegians pay about 50%+ (more than double Argentina) but they get cradle to grave education and health care and an awesome social & transportation infrastructure and there is no inclination for a tax revolt because there is a general perception that they are not being ripped off. You get what you pay for. Small pay, small reward. Big pay, big reward or big rip-off. If the government is ripping us off, we should revolt. It’s all relative.

  38. Dave
    March 4, 2011 at 11:09 am

    There is a logical reason why gas costs so much more here in Humboldt County…it’s called a MONOPOLY and that game has been going on since I came here in 1979.

    The local media has never dared to try to expose the real reasons why we constantly lead the “lower 48 states” on gas prices. I think we all know why.

    There’s a 900-pound gorilla in the room, and everyone is afraid of him.

  39. Filibuster
    March 4, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Anonymous 1043 & 1044 — That’s the price per LITER, not per gallon. Multiply it by approximately 4 to have price per gallon.

  40. O Jane, O Sam, O Mitch
    March 4, 2011 at 11:23 am

    That’s not the American Way!

    As HiFi and his bretheren will tell you: THEM THAT HAS, GETS. THAT’S the American Way. And the way it should be. All else is class envy.

    The Free Market (especially the Stock Market) is a Casino. If you can’t buy in, well, that’s your fault.

    Americans LOVE the casino mentality. Hey, I could win big! (But remember, the house always wins — and we know who the house is, folks, don’t we…)

  41. Anonymous
    March 4, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I think the class envy thing is interesting. You can knock it, but this blog seems to be filled with folks who are pissed off at whoever they think those is power are, the good old boys, their supervisor, their landlord, those with money, those with some sort of power position, those who give money, those who earn money, especially a little too much money.

    It stands out especially because there seems to be a lack of taking responsibility for one’s own misfortune, lack of money, lack of power, lack of ability to make their voices taken seriously, and those listed above are always to blame.

  42. Higher Finance
    March 4, 2011 at 11:56 am

    “lack of taking responsibility for one’s own misfortune, lack of money, lack of power” Yeah! Quit sniveling about Guatemalan children taking your jobs and about gasoline monopolies which are gouging you.

  43. High Finance
    March 4, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Mouse at 10.42am is right for once. Humboldt county’s gas price is 50 cents higher than the nation because one supplier (Chevron) supplies most of the market here.

    Ryan, those European countries pay so much more for gas because governments over there have outrageous gas taxes.

    Sam, you comparing gas prices today vs fourty of fifty years ago is misleading. Fourty & fifty years ago gas prices had been kept artifically low for a long time due to the control the US & the oil companies had over the Arab world. If you compare gas prices today to thirty years ago you would see that gas prices have risen something close to inflation.

  44. High Finance
    March 4, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    You nailed that one 11.54am.

    These whiners seem to be stuck in perpetual teenager mode. Always ranting & rebelling against anyone they perceive as being authority figures.

    You can pick any topic in the news today. Find the authority figure & you can always tell what the left’s position is before they write their posts.

  45. Sam Spade
    March 4, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    “If you compare gas prices today to thirty years ago you would see that gas prices have risen something close to inflation” Gasoline has increased by more than 13 times in 40 years, average annual wages have gone up 6 to 7 times. Back to 5th grade for you Hi-Fi.

  46. Sam Spade
    March 4, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    “These whiners seem to be stuck in perpetual teenager mode.” The last bastion of those without an argument of merit is name calling. I love to watch you hang yourself with all the rope Heraldo feeds you.

  47. Anon
    March 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Costco gas is trucked in so they get lower prices. I have never understood why a little town close to Clearlake always has cheaper gas than anywhere else.

    We are in for some high gas prices here for probably quite a while.

    San Francisco hit $4 gas before we did though.

  48. The Other Majority
    March 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Chris Rall is correct, Ryan Burns should take note.

    One of the reasons Europe, Scandinavia and others tolerate 250% higher fuel costs is because their cities are built like our Old Town, and the taxes subsidize excellent public transportation.


    It’s what makes them tourist destinations!

    Had “HiFi” and his ilk succeeded in the 1950’s, Eureka’s Old Town would have been razed, and we would be scrambling to rebuild it, like other American cities that are desperately attempting to rebuild theirs.

    Some economists have calculated the actual subsidies and environmental costs that would increase one-gallon of gasoline to $15, not $10!

    The “law of supply and demand” is more like a whine:

    “But I’m already addicted to doubling my money on Granddaddy’s under-utilized resource lands 10-miles from downtown with biggered homes subsidized by the people’s infrastructure…people who mostly can’t afford to live there”.

    Whaaa Whaaa Whaaaa

  49. Not A Native
    March 4, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Anon 11:54 and Hi Fi, Your worldview maintains that power is irrelevant in transactions because all transactions occur between equally powerfull, informed, and motivated people. You say willing transactions are inherently fair and limitations on them reduce the beneficial effects of a ‘free market’. Everyone with any life experience knows thats just not true. But you still go on, telling us that if we see someone pissing on other people’s backs, its actually raining.

    I don’t see liberals/progressives denying that personal responsibility is a virtue and a necessity. Liberals just keep uppermost in their minds that every individual woe shouldn’t be automatically attributed to lack of personal responsibilty. Moreover, liberals have knowledge of history and facts that prove some large systemic woes are not caused by lack of personal responsibility.

    And as someone wisely pointed out, Hi Fi is duplicitous, at the least. He promotes predatory behavior by ECS to prevent competition. Not by offering a better product or better price in a ‘free market’ but by using its power and resources to make it more difficult for competitors to enter the market.

  50. Plain Jane
    March 4, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    I remember 22 cent gas, Sam. “You are what you drive” has such special significance to Americans. A number of years ago I read an article (I think Time or Newsweek) about personality traits and choice in vehicles. It was spot on. When I have more time I’ll try to find it online.

  51. Billy N
    March 4, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    I think we should wipe out Libya with bombs and missiles. Then we can take all the oil for ourselves and make gas $1.00 again. Fukem towelheads.

  52. Anonymous
    March 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    There is just a general anger I see here targeting “the man” in a variety of forms and toward power of any sort.

  53. Plain Jane
    March 4, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    The more we use, the faster it is depleted, the more it costs. As more of the world increases their use of it, the faster it is depleted and the more it costs. It will run out. Before or after we deplete our wealth to the point that we can’t afford to switch to alternative energy due to inevitably escalating oil prices is the question.

  54. Blast From the Past
    March 4, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Chris Rall, welcome back. It’s funny you are still telling Humboldt what to do after moving away to get a better paying job in Portland.

  55. commonsense
    March 4, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    If we all purchase our fuel from the least expensive station, compition will help us. Don’t support the highest price! Support the lowest! Better yet don’t purchase any (wishfull thinking).

    March 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm


    I am gonna support the small guy/gal’s business – time to head out to Indianola store and see if they still sell the least expensive gas in the county (or darn near rootin” tootin’)

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  57. Filibuster
    March 4, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Here’s an interesting site showing how gasoline prices have changed with time:


    A couple of quotes:

    “Back in 1980 – 81 we were shocked as gas prices rose above $1.00 for the first time. This was especially shocking because just four years earlier in 1976 gas was $0.60 per gallon and in 1969 it was only $0.35 a gallon. But by 1981 only 12 years later it was a full dollar higher at $1.35. That is an increase of 286% in 12 years!”

    And especially relevant now:

    “In 1981 that $1.35 would be the equivalent of $3.24 in inflation adjusted terms for 2010 dollars.”

    So average gas price in the US today is $3.81 according to the AAA. We can see the effect of limitations on supply and increased global demand.

  58. Filibuster
    March 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    For those interested in comparing inflation-adjusted values/prices of anything a great little calculator is available at


  59. March 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Gosh, what will happen when people who have”invested” in giant trucks and SUVs all try to sell them at the same time?

  60. The Challenger
    March 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Since most people who’ve got a Hummer just use it to drive to the mall (or so my SoCal friends maintain) maybe gas price won’t make much difference. Or perhaps they’ll decide their “investment” was really in a “Bummer” and when they sell it, they’d actually bought a “Dummer.”

  61. A-Nony-Mouse
    March 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    I now only drive my truck about 1/5 of the annual miles I used to. There are jobs only it can do but they are all it gets to do. For regular errands I walk or use the car which gets much better mileage.
    Even so, the bill goes up,up, up and strangely enough my income does not.
    The other strange thing is the speed that the prices go up. The minute news breaks, up go the numbers. Gas is purchased on contract ahead of time so the gas you buy today should reflect the prices of a few weeks or months ago. Peculiar, isn’t it?

  62. The Challenger
    March 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    It’s all the traffic will bear, my lads, all the traffic will bear. (pun intended)

  63. Walt
    March 4, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Cui bono, boys and girls? “The market’s decline would be worse without energy stocks, which were rocketing with crude prices. Exxon Mobil was up $2.04 to $87.48, Chevron gained $2.77 to $103.10 and Conoco Phillips jumped $2 to $78.61.” Need somebody to hate? Start at home. We live where 99 men weep and one man laughs.

  64. Anonymous
    March 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Does it really pencil out to drive from McKinleyville down to Indianola just for cheaper gas?
    Just curious.

  65. Anonymous
    March 4, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    If a few cents a gallon makes that much of a difference between stations, folks might be spending too much time burnin’ dinosaur bones (to borrow a phrase from Johnny Cash).

  66. High Finance
    March 4, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Sam Spade 12.07pm, how old are you ? 15 ? Do you ever check any facts BEFORE you spout off and make a fool of yourself ?

    “Gas increased by 13 times in the last 30 years”

    Not True. Gas avg price in the country for 1981 was $1.38 per gallon. Today it is about $3.48 even after the spike these last two weeks. This is an increase of only 2.52 times.


    You said “Gross wages increased 6-7 times”

    Again not true. The cost of living index in 1981 at 100 is at 242.24 today. An increase of only 2.42 times.

    You said “back to the 5th grade for you Hi Fi”

    Strike three for you fool. In the last thirty years gas has increased by 2.52 times and the cost of living has increased by 2.42 times.


  67. High Finance
    March 4, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Common Sense at 2.30pm.

    Normally you would be right. However, all the gas stations except Costco and maybe one or two others buy their gas from Chevron.

    Humboldt County does not have a free market in gas. It is controlled by a monopoly.

  68. Mitch
    March 4, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    So, HiFi, I guess you recommend everyone join Costco, huh?

  69. High Finance
    March 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Going back a bit further, gas prices in 1921 were .26 . That would be equal to $ 3.20 when adjusting for inflation.

    Nobody likes high gas prices. By why the complaints specifically about that and not everything else ?

  70. High Finance
    March 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    I buy my own gas there Mitch. Why not ?

  71. Plain Jane
    March 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    In 1970 in San Jose, gas was 22 cents at Mary Hudson stations.

  72. Mitch
    March 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Good for you, HiFi.

  73. Anonymous
    March 4, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Actually it is an oligopoly here that controls gas prices, but the results are the same.

  74. joel sonenshein
    March 4, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Geez, 73 comments and not a single one mentioning my song? I’m feeling a little neglected here.

    FWIW, I get my gas at Renner. The photo was taken at the 76 station in McKinleyville.

    March 4, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Anonymous says:
    March 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm
    Does it really pencil out to drive from McKinleyville down to Indianola just for cheaper gas?
    Just curious.

    Response: I often drive along Old Arcata Road and Indianola would be just a “remember to stop off to top off” erand. I certainly would not drive from McKinleyville to Indianola just to head back northerly.


  76. tra
    March 4, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    The cheapest gas in the County is usually in Hoopa. But I think that has something to do with it being on the reservation and not quite the same taxation? And of course that’s way too far to go out of your way to get your gas there…but if you’re heading past there, check out the price, you might want to fill the tank.

    Indianola Market often (though not always) has the cheapest gas in the Eureka area (aside from Costco, and most people aren’t Costco members). Indianola is often 5 cents a gallon cheaper, sometimes as much as 10 cents a gallon cheaper. With one little pump, and a somewhat out-of-the-way location, I assume they aren’t doing a huge volume, so either they’re getting it at a lower price (doubtful) or they just have relatively low overhead, and have decided to take only a small profit on the gas they sell (or perhaps just break even) and use those low gas prices as a way to keep customers coming in, who then make some other convenience purchases. Hey, it’s worked on me a couple of times!

    Aside from Hoopa (and Costco if you want to include that), Hansen’s truckstop on 101 just south of Fortuna was usually the lowest around. Usually 10 cents a gallon difference, sometimes more.

    Unfortunately CalTrans’s design for the new Alton Interchange (101/36) apparently destroyed Hansen’s business. It may have been unavoidable, since closing the median (preventing northbound traffic from turning left into Hansen’s) and putting in the overpass really was necessary for safety. However, for some reason they also closed the southbound exit that was just before Hansen’s, and the replacement is a little way past the truckstop, which requires doubling back, and for those unfamiliar with the area, it wasn’t anything like the previous “easy off / easy on” setup.

    So they lost a huge amount of their northbound traffic, and probably a pretty good chunk of the southbound traffic, and apparently they just couldn’t make it on regulars and truckers without some of the casual traffic from the tourists and other travelers.

    Maybe there’s some good reason why CalTrans needed to close the existing south-bound exit for Hansen’s, but if so, I haven’t heard it yet. It was a regular right-hand exit, not crossing the median or anything like that, and there was an exit lane with plenty of room to slow down. So if it wasn’t “broke,” why did CalTrans insist on “fixing” it?

    Now maybe the loss of a lot of northbound traffic (unavoidable, in my opinion, because the safety benefits of closing the median and creating the overpass at the Hwy 36 interchange are undeniable) would have cost them enough business, by itself, to kill the truckstop. But if they had at least left the more convenient southbound exit, at least Hansen’s might have had a fighting chance.

    10 cents a gallon may not sound like much, but you’re talking about at least a couple of dollars per tankful (depending on the size of your tank, of course), and over the course of a year, that can add up to hundreds of dollars in savings.

    RIP Hansen’s.

  77. Anonymous
    March 4, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Most people aren’t Costco members?
    I must not know most people, because sooner or later I see most of the people I know at Costco.

  78. Voter
    March 4, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    So maybe y’all might be willing to consider the proposition of “walkable communities” now? We’ve only been tossing it about for, what, 8 years or so…Just an idea.

  79. Anonymous
    March 5, 2011 at 12:42 am

    11:54 am and HiFi – the tactic of accusing people who have perspectives other than your own of class envy is insulting and wearing thin. Assuming that anyone with a different point of view is financially inferior, lacking in power or the ability to be taken seriously or otherwise beaten down is absurd. I suspect many of the people you refer to are financially set, highly educated and actively involved in their communities.

  80. Anonymous
    March 5, 2011 at 6:15 am

    Yes 9:57, most people are not Costco members. Pick any store you like. Most people (51%+) do not shop at that store. When you find a store that 51%+ of the population shops at, let me know because I’ll immediately get into the retail business.

    This also explains why most, if not all, of gas stations in Eureka remain open years after the Eureka Costco began selling gas.

  81. High Finance
    March 5, 2011 at 7:45 am

    I call them as I see them 12.42am.

    Don’t like it ? Then don’t participate in it.
    But your post demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the meaning of the term “Class envy”.

    “financially inferior” has nothing at all to do with it. It has everything to do with people hating others simply because they are better off financially than they are.

  82. Anon
    March 5, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Oh it will be 6 bucks a gal up here by the end of the summer. Thank your president. Oh, and you poor people out there, make sure you vote for him again, of course you will have to walk to vote.

  83. March 5, 2011 at 8:28 am

    The “Socialist” countries like Germany or Sweden will weather these storms without much trouble. For us every ill-wind is a disaster.
    What a perfect tool for total control of a person’s life, their need for fuel. Get used to it. Soon they will realize they can charge whatever they like. Americans wont’ do anything.
    The reason all the problems get bunched together is that they all have the same root beginning. That is the idea that an individual or a small group’s freedom to exploit for profit is of infinite more value than the vast majority’s right to Life, liberty and Pursuit of whatever.
    “99 men weep…?” the ratio is huge. The people have a few commodities that are too important to be left in the hands of anyone tempted by greed. It’s human nature that these decision makers have been corrupted. They rule the world. But only because we do their bidding. We reinforce their decisions with the power of our collective force.
    Yeah, yeah. Smart room, everyone knows all this stuff.
    We need to nationalize to the control of a functioning trusted government our:
    Health care
    Penal System
    It works in Germany and a whole bunch of other places. They seem like a paradise in comparison to the average person’s life here.
    Yeah they don’t own their own oil companies, who does but Venezuela?
    Why are Natural Resources allowed to be co-opted?
    Sure, the private company “extracted” it, but that would still have happened if the board of directors where the United States.
    There are still lots of self-made-millionaires in socialist societies of Northern Europe. So the propaganda about us all being in long lines wearing the same “Dickies” just doesn’t work. Or maybe it does for some.
    Our system of economy is destroying our society. It doesn’t have to be all that Marx-Lenin-Mao nonsense. But we gotta come up with something new.
    I love the line: “Look to the Ant thou Sluggard!”

  84. Penny Wise
    March 5, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Where are the savings when you drive somewhere to save 7 cents per gallon? You haul your gas-guzzling truck or SUV an extra few miles, and if you had a twenty-gallon tank you’d be “saving” $1.40. Really smart.

  85. Anonymous
    March 5, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Anon 6:15,
    My comment was in response to tra who went on about locations for cheap gas, but immediately dismissed Costco because “most people aren’t members”. My point is more people buy gas at Costco than Indianola, Hansens (in the past) and several other stations combined. So it is a significant option. Obviously 51% of the population are not members.

    Ultimately gas prices will drop “back” down (to 3.50/4.00) as market conditions change and that will be considered normal. Then people will return to buying their crew cab truck and buying houses 10 or more miles from where they work and shop. They will then be shocked when the next wave of increases occur. It’s been the same story since the first “crisis” in the late 70s. Short term planning and short term memory is the common thread.

  86. Anonymous
    March 5, 2011 at 8:59 am

    High Finance, you kind of remind me of my buddy Roy Corsetti

    Is that you Roy? If so, see ya come deer season.

  87. March 5, 2011 at 9:08 am

    I don’t understand Anonymous commenters who want to deny others their option to post Anonymously.

  88. Anonymous
    March 5, 2011 at 9:49 am

    In our fair land, any working class schmoe
    Can scrape together a few hundred in dough
    And buy shares in Chevron to join the ruling class –
    And join the idle rich who like sitting on their assets.

  89. Sybil
    March 5, 2011 at 10:31 am

    You think the oil situation is bad?

    Wait until the World Rulers have achieved monopoly of fresh water.

    It is coming.

  90. Anonymous
    March 5, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I bet none of you progressive left wingers buy your gas from Costco or Renner even though they are 20 cents a gallon cheaper. After all, they are big bad corporate pigs! If you are buying from them, you really should tear up your cards and support all your local stations.

  91. Plain Jane
    March 5, 2011 at 11:06 am
  92. Big Al
    March 5, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Glad to help you guys out getting your bicycles prepared…

  93. tra
    March 5, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Didn’t mean to diss Costco. If you’re a member, and you’re in the Eureka area, it makes sense. If you’re not already a member, and wouldn’t normally shop there for other things, then I’m not sure whether it would pay to join just for the savings on gas. How much is a Costco membership these days, anyway? I guess whether it would be worth it just for the savings on gasoline would depend on how much gasoline you buy.

    And of course, “Penny-wise” is right that it makes little sense to go very far out of your way for a 10 cents per gallon price difference. It doesn’t take too many miles before that just doesn’t pencil out. Not to mention the time involved, or the unnecessary use of fuel and extra pollution created.

    I never went out of my way to go to Hansen’s. But I often did wait and fill the tank at Hansen’s if I knew I was going to be going that way anyway.

  94. Anonymous
    March 5, 2011 at 11:33 am

    I don’t have time to read all the posts, has it been asked or answered – Why is Eureka always had the highest gas prices in the nation? Who is screwing Eureka?

  95. Plain Jane
    March 5, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Isn’t the logical outcome of the right wing agenda, everything privatized, deregulated and for sale to the highest bidder (or best connected) more and more monopolized basic necessities as median wages decline?

    11:33, capitalism is screwing Eureka. The supplier is maximizing profits. It’s the American way.

  96. Random Guy
    March 5, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    “The cost of living index in 1981 at 100 is at 242.24 today. An increase of only 2.42 times.”

    That’s a lean number…reality is a bit more harsh. The “only” doesn’t help. Maybe those number systems are what you real estate investors embrace to feel better about yourselves when you jack the rent on a “lower income unit” by $300/month…having no real clue as how much money that is to the average joe.

    Same with gas prices…the average in 1981 might have been $1.38 (I’ll take your sources word for it) but look at prices throughout that whole decade. For over ten years you could buy regular for just under a buck a gallon everywhere…well into the 90’s. Then it skyrocketed, and not surprisingly so did oil baron profits. Not just their bottom line either, but their percentage.

  97. Steak n Eggs
    March 5, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Do Heraldo’s sheep ever get tired of each others constant whining by the same old tired posters? YWhat a depressing lot you are. Do you think that the bitching and complaining helps win public opinion? I doubt it. Be happy…The Dems have enacted a health care bill that had been their dream for more than 60 years. They pulled the country out of a terrifying economic spiral, and they are on the verge of passing the biggest reform of Street since the New Deal.

  98. Random Guy
    March 5, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Troll n’ Eggs…do you ever not talk in terms of polar politics? Got an angel on your left shoulder, a devil on the polar, got a mug of frigid, got a mug of solar…sliiiiide over.

  99. Not A Native
    March 5, 2011 at 1:54 pm
  100. Anonymous
    March 5, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    The reason Eureka always has the highest prices in the nation? Probably because everybody is afraid for their lives if they mount a serious movement demanding an investigation into this obviously corrupt state of affairs.

  101. Toohey
    March 5, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Price of diesel goes up, price of pot is down. Woe is me. It’s all a conspiracy. How is a grow bum to take a living?

  102. Anonymous
    March 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Is it someone locally that has manipulated the price here in Eureka?

  103. Anonymous
    March 5, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    This is serious-Eureka has had the highest gas prices in the nation for many years.

  104. Anonymous
    March 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Glad to help you guys out getting your bicycles prepared

    You level the mountains and I’ll ride my bike to work. The cartel knows it has us by the balls.

  105. tra
    March 5, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    As was stated upthread, almost all the gasoline sold in Humboldt County is barged in by one supplier, Chevron (the exception being Costco, which apparently trucks their own stuff in). We’re a small market, and a bit out of the way, geographically, and due to these facts, along with the fact that there is only one wholesaler, it’s not really all that surprising that our prices are higher than many other places.

    The lack of competition is the main factor. In a larger market, if there was only one supplier with high prices, we would expect one or more competitors to move in and offer a lower price, forcing the main supplier to lower their price or lose business. We don’t have that dynamic at work here, and being that we’re such a small market potential competitors are probably just not interested in investing in the infrastructure and overhead required to get into the game.

    So, I think this is probably not a case of some conspiracy to keep our prices artificially high, it’s just the result of free market forces, which, contrary to the belief of some folks, do NOT always lead to competition and the lowest price.

  106. Anonymous
    March 5, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    10:37 am, you do realize that the gas doesn’t come from Humboldt and therefor you’re not really supporting a 100% local community business? Are you lemming progs really that naive and stupid?

  107. Owltotem
    March 5, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Anonymous 157
    “Probably because everybody is afraid for their lives if they mount a serious movement demanding an investigation into this obviously corrupt state of affairs.”

    Retribution, retaliation, systematic class denigration, government and corporate corruption.

    Is anyone else sick of feeling like collateral damage? Tired of standing by and watching our community battered, our resources exhausted, our natural environment disrespected and our future filched? I, for one, am getting restless.


  108. Random Guy
    March 5, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Can’t really talk about gasoline being in terms of a “free market”. Nobody can make gas, let alone at the rate of consumption, yet it’s been integral to everything for longer than everybody’s been alive. Same with electricity. Subsidiaries decide how many 9/10ths of a cent more per gallon they can squeeze out of their distribution area…I don’t consider one gas station as gouging me when their prices are a few cents higher than down the street. The proof is plain as day…everybody affiliated with the top of the money pile isn’t just doing great, but better than ever. Always and without exception. We’re brainwashed into thinking it’s a somewhat fair game of checks and balances. How long does one have to pay attention to the game to see that it’s as criminal as it gets?

    TRA, I will go ahead and diss Costco. FUCK costco and their piss gas. If local gas stations are gouging us, then Costco is gouging us even more…there’s no reason for them to hover the local priceline so close. And their gas is crap. They are especially to blame for keeping Humboldt’s gas prices artificially high. It’s well within their power to charge less than they do. If they charged even a few more cents cheaper per gallon it would send shockwaves…they don’t and won’t.

    Fiending for some jungle drumming, owl…I’ll follow the sound…

  109. Walt
    March 5, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    “Free market”??? One source of gas and this is a “free market”? I’ve heard for years the stations get their marching orders on prices each day, and anyone disobying orders get the supply cut off. The fact that almost all the prices are identical, and move within minutes of each other would tend to bear that out. Free of regulation, free of competition and free of conscience, yes.

  110. March 5, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    “FUCK costco and their piss gas.”

    Well now, there’s a thoughtful comment.

  111. Anonymous
    March 5, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    As long as people keep buying water from bottles instead of from the tap, all these complaints about gasoline prices ring hollow.

  112. Anonymous
    March 5, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Eureka doesn’t have the highest gas prices in the country. The strip of 395 south of Reno – Bridgeport and Lee Vining area is about 30 cents more than ours. I’ve traveled out there on a couple of occasions and noticed the high price. It’s another example of rising the prices because they can. You can use following link to compare prices by zip code.

  113. Random Guy
    March 5, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    sorry, joel…I’m not one to smile for the cameras and talk politely about the people who bring everybody down. Fuck them and the STAA horse they rode in on.

  114. March 5, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Good point, when Costco first made the station everyone up here was ecstatic about the gas being .35 less than the other stations. They came in at .03 under.
    But still, and employee-owned store with a strong union is infinitely preferable to the usual model.
    Not employee owned? Pretty dang close though…

  115. High Finance
    March 5, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Who said gas in Humboldt county was a free market ?

    Even on the world stage, a small handful of countries control a large portion of the available gas.

    Anyone who thinks Costco of all places is responsible for the high gas prices in our county, just isn’t thinking.

  116. Filibuster
    March 5, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    The cost to the local suppliers is set by the producing companies. A few years ago they stated that they have different prices for different geographic regions in California. Their lowest prices to suppliers were where there was the most competition from other producers. There’s essentially no competition here, so they raise the prices here as much as they can. The local schmoes (gas stations) just pass on the rises imposed from afar.

  117. 69er
    March 6, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Rener and Costco are both @$3.849 at the present time,
    you can check it out by going here:


  118. common sense
    March 6, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Thanks 69er. The local news paper publish the lowest price locally. If lower priced stations increase volumes, higher priced stations will take notice with their lower volumes. We can’t control how our gas arrives here, but we can support the lower priced outlets. (high finiance 4:04)

  119. Toohey
    March 6, 2011 at 9:22 am

    I thought we wanted high gas prices to make everyone go green. Ten dollar a gallon gas is the enviro dream. What gives?

  120. Plain Jane
    March 6, 2011 at 9:27 am

    The missing part of that equation is that the increased price in gas isn’t funding alternative energy, Toohey.

  121. Plain Jane
    March 6, 2011 at 9:29 am

    In FACT, it is funding sources opposed to green energy.

  122. Toohey
    March 6, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I thought it was about changing behavior..bikes and buses.

  123. Plain Jane
    March 6, 2011 at 9:43 am

    That’s only part of it, Toohey. More profit to donate to the corporatists, climate change skeptics and destroyers of the working class isn’t a green goal.

  124. Mitch
    March 6, 2011 at 9:45 am


    No, giving more of our money to the oil companies is not an enviros dream. Only a propagandist could pretend anyone actually wants that.

    An enviros dream is a world in which the true cost of energy was paid by the user.

    For example, if you have to have a huge military with a presence around the world in order to prop up dictators who will allow oil companies to steal oil from people, the cost of maintaining that military shouldn’t be paid by charging income taxes, it should be paid by the gallon. If you have to risk worldwide climate change in order to burn fossil fuels at high rates, you ought to be including big, big money for developing emergency alternatives as part of the cost of the fossil fuels you’re burning.

    That would mean a very major change in our tax structure and, if it were ever to happen, it would mean that we’d live in a wealthier country because we’d be using less oil per dollar of GDP, we’d be investing more in efficiency, we’d have a wider array of alternative energy in use, and we’d be devoting less of our tax money to sending our military abroad.

  125. Plain Jane
    March 6, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Well said, Mitch.

  126. GasPriceReality
    March 6, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I’ve tried to post this two other times???

    Gas in Eureka is NOT the highest in the country. Gas in Mono County along Highway 395 is about 44 cents higher. Look at Bridgeport at the following link, under Mono County.


    ALSO Costco is about 21 cents cheaper per gallon than the other stations (not 3 cents as stated above).

  127. Toohey
    March 6, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    So ten dollar a gallon gas is OK as long as taxes make it that expensive?

  128. Mitch
    March 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm


    If total taxes collected remain the same or were reduced, I’d be enthusiastic about having a larger share of taxes connected to the sale of carbon-based fuel.

    I’d change the payroll tax so that it only kicked in once a salary exceeded the minimum wage — that would give every employee back about $800/year and every employer back about $800/year per employee — and I’d raise gas taxes by the exact amount that would make up the lost revenue, adjusting every year to make sure things remained revenue neutral.

    That would mean people would have a tax that they’d pay less of each time they made smart decisions about energy efficiency.

    I was urging that 20 years ago and ten years ago, and I urge it today. The Congress could vote on it tomorrow if they wanted.

    March 6, 2011 at 9:59 pm


    explain $3.79 per gallon of standard grade fuel in Fort Bragg!


    March 6, 2011 at 10:07 pm


    this statement of yours here, “An enviros dream is a world in which the true cost of energy was paid by the user”

    Response: unless the user has any leverage in its uses of energy (types as compared to zippo spending habits), then the user is either “forced” to make-do with what the market provides OR that user must make its own energy – like all sfr’s being converted away from the power grid monopolies. The real solution is world de-population, but it is a touchy topic to discuss because rationality is discriminated against in favor of personal choices and preferences. Problem is, most people don’t give a darned, and that presence of thought and action is very noticeable.


    March 6, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Now, here is a great statement:

    Anonymous says:
    March 5, 2011 at 7:26 pm
    As long as people keep buying water from bottles instead of from the tap, all these complaints about gasoline prices ring hollow.


  132. GasPrice Reality
    March 6, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Eureka does NOT have the highest gas prices in the country.
    Mono County (CA) prices are about 45 cents higher per gallon than Eureka. These towns are on a main highway, 395, and not that far from Reno: Bridgeport, Lee Vining, etc. Check it here:


  133. High Finanze
    March 6, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    “The law of supply and demand”.

    “It does not apply to local fuel prices…”

    Please standby for more examples of anachronisms I stand by.

  134. March 8, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Costco is .21 cheaper? check again, all the prices in Humboldt are virtually the same give or take a few pennies. Except of course for places way out of the way. It’s way more expensive in say, Hawkins Bar. but that’s to be expected. .21 cheaper there would be lines up and down broadway. Did you not hear people willing to drive across town to save five cents?
    No offense, but you have to prove that statement. I was there yesterday, I didn’t see any huge lines, outside anyway.

  135. Auntie Arkley
    March 10, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Now it’s at $4.15. The greedy scumbags at Renner and Humboldt Petroleum are thieves and should be treated as such. Of course, the real problem is the speculators on the commodities market who drive the prices up on fear, conjecture, and greed. Those fuckers should just be taken out and shot.

  136. Auntie Arkley
    March 10, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    moviedad: The gas prices at Costco are usually 10-11¢ cheaper, and I recently did get it for about 20¢ cheaper. I must have got there right before they raised the price! Everywhere else in this county the difference is only a few pennies. I’m sure Renner and Humboldt Petroleum are best butt buddies.

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