NATSO responds to price-gouging warnings

Aug. 1, 2003
Crude oil prices at two-year highs and uncertainty in the Middle East and Venezuela are contributing to the rising cost of diesel, according to the National

Crude oil prices at two-year highs and uncertainty in the Middle East and Venezuela are contributing to the rising cost of diesel, according to the National Association of Travel Plazas and Truck Stops (NATSO). The association has taken issue with the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and its earlier warnings about retailer price gouging.

“Throughout the decades, crude oil prices go up and diesel prices go up,” NATSO said. “Then the price of crude goes down and diesel prices go down. Although we never hear mea culpas after prices go down, users are unfortunately wont to seek out scapegoats when prices shoot up.”

NATSO points out that:

  • A barrel of crude today sells at $36, double the $18 price just a year ago.

  • Worldwide crude oil supplies are tight because of uncertainty about Iraq specifically, the Middle East generally, the Venezuela strike, and cold weather.

  • This winter has been 30% colder than 2002 in the Northeast, increasing the demand for heating oil, subsequently putting upward price pressure on the distillates that also produce diesel.

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