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Letters for Friday — March 24, 2006

• Realtors aren’t responsible

• Gas cap article ‘misleading’

• Homeless people may also be among the missing


Realtors aren’t responsible

What an interesting take Mr. Holbrook of Koloa has in placing blame in this latest Pfleuger disaster.

How could a realtor be held responsible for Mr. Pfleuger’s alterations on his land after the fact?

My take is that perhaps Mr. Pfleuger has messed with the ‘aina one too many times.

And as a result, lives of those dear to many of us were lost.

  • P.S. Britt
    Princeville

Gas cap article ‘misleading’

The March 21, 2006, article “Gas cap costly, sources agree” is misleading.

The sources are officials of the Western States Petroleum Association, who have the best interests of the big oil companies, not the consumers, at heart. They are paid to work for and lobby for the big oil companies. The WSPA and leaders of the petroleum industry have opposed and lobbied against the gas cap legislation from the time it was proposed. WSPA and leaders of the petroleum industry lead the way in postponing the implanting of the gas cap legislation, first for 18 months, then 13 months more, to continue gouging consumers at the higher rates they were charging, and to give them more time to defeat the legislation. WSPA does not want anti-gouging legislation to spread to other states as well, thereby reducing the huge, record high profits the big oil companies, including Chevron and Tesoro, have made in the last four years.

WSPA claims that high gas taxes, high cost of living, and a small market are the underlying causes of the state’s high gas prices. But the gas cap maximum is based on a weekly average before taxes, so gas taxes have no effect on the maximum Chevron and Tesoro can charge. The price gouging at the gas pump is a leading cause of the higher cost of living in Hawai’i, not a cause of high gas prices. And just because Hawai’i is a smaller market does not justify allowing us to be price-gouged at the pump. WSPA claims that the gas cap has cost consumers 10 million dollars. The gas cap is just that, it is an anti-gouging cap on the maximum the big oil companies are allowed to charge for regular gas, based on the maximum weekly average, charged at metropolitan (higher cost) areas on the mainland. Chevron and Tesoro chose to charge the maximum price allowed by the gas cap. Not once did they charge less than the maximum they could get for their products. So how can the WSPA say that it cost us consumers 10 million dollars extra, it was Chevron and Tesoro, that WSPA works for, who set the price at the maximum. Before the gas cap law, Kauaians paid $.85 to $1.10 more for gas than our counterparts on the mainland, now we pay $.40 more. That is a success story. During the super-high gas prices right after the Katrina disaster, we were protected against huge price gouging taking place on the mainland. Our gas never went over $4.00, while some stations on the mainland went to $5.50, even over $6. Again, that is a success story. Diesel, before the gas cap, was always $.15 to $.25 less per gal. than regular, but diesel is not protected by the gas cap and sells for $.35 to $.50 more now per gal. than regular.

If Chevron and Tesoro chose to charge the maximum price allowed by the gas cap, it is crazy to think that they will charge us less without the protection of the gas cap law, than with it. It is more likely we will be paying a lot more at the gas pump if the law is repealed. Kauaians will be paying $.85 to $1.10 or more extra for gas than our counterparts on the mainland. If the gas cap law needs a little adjusting, then adjust it, don’t do away with it. I encourage readers to contact our state legislators to ask them to save our anti-gouging legislation. If we do not, then we all will be paying the price at the gas pump.

  • Daniel Marcel-René
    Lihu’e

Homeless people may also be among the missing

We’ll never know how many lives were lost with the Kilauea dam break. I understand a number of homeless were living along its path.

  • Dick Schulz
    Princeville
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