Gas prices high? Yes, but…
If you've tuned in to the morning show on WINA news radio in the past few days, you've likely heard hosts Jay James and Jane Foy bemoaning the high gasoline prices in this area and talking about some poll in which 82 percent of their listeners believe they're getting gouged. Well, let's ignore the fact that 1) that's an unscientific poll, and 2) that polls don't prove facts.
Instead, let's look at a report from the Newsplex which actually spoke with a Darden prof who explained why Charlottesville– for some reason other than rapacious cads colluding to rip off the public– might have higher prices than some other parts of Virginia.
And while we're at it, let's not forget that last spring, sometime around April, the Charlottesville area (according to AAA figures) actually had slightly lower prices than surrounding areas.
The point is that petrol is a commodity, and its price is set more by consumers than any alleged market manipulation by oligopolists. "It's the intensity of demand by local consumers that tends to drive price," the Darden prof, Peter Rodriguez, says in the story.
In fairness to Jay and Jane, we should point out that they did have former Charlottesville City Councilor Rob Schilling on the show a day or two ago to make a similar point.