Over 75 people attended a meeting to address gasoline pricing in LaPorte last night. The meeting was arranged by State Senator Jim Arnold (D-LaPorte) and State Representative Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte).
Presenters were Scot Imus, Executive Director of the Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, and Maureen Hellman-Ferguson, Executive Director of the Indiana Petroleum Council.
Most of the members of the audience were interested in why there was such a discrepancy of gasoline pricing from town to town. Imus compared prices in Valparaiso, South Bend, Michigan City, and LaPorte. He said Valparaiso generally has lower prices, and of the four cities mentioned, LaPorte generally has higher prices. Imus said that is because the competition in Valparaiso keeps prices below the profit level, using it as a “lost leader” to attract customers to buy convenience products. He said, “I wish there was some way to force stations to all sell at the same profit level.”
Another interesting point was that Indiana has the next to lowest profit margin in the United States.
Imus met with our own Ted Hayes after the program and said he would be happy to arrange a similar forum on gas pricing on WKVI. We’ll let you know when to tune in.