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The Editor Speaks: Fuel petition may finally fuel Cayman’s gas suppliers to take notice

Colin Wilsonweb2George Ebanks’ fuel petition that backs government’s proposal to make our bulk fuel importers accountable is growing by the thousands.

I am one of the very last persons who want to increase legislation as in most cases it produces more headaches than what it replaces.

We even have legislation proposed where there has never been a problem but it is there in case we do. And if there is ever a case the legislation will only cost us far more than leaving well alone.

However, there are exceptions to every rule. George Ebanks fuel petition to make our gas suppliers accountable for the price we have to pay at the pumps is one of them.

I made this same point in an Editorial I wrote on the same subject last September.

At about the same time Ebanks announced his petition and today (Wed 14) he is hoping the same number of persons who signed his petition will support his march of protest.

Ebanks said yesterday he is supported by “the largest number of people who have become involved in a social issue in a very long time”.

At the time of reading this you will know whether he is right.

Even if that didn’t happen the petition handed over will certainly be one of the largest.

So far our two fuel suppliers, Rubis and Sol have played dumb.

Both companies have warned legislation will mean even higher prices but did not come up with a convincing argument as to why.

They even thumbed their noses up at us by playing the old trick. Slowly, slowly bringing the prices down and raising them up immediately when the market price arose. It was only when the media started making waves that this last time the market price fell they started lowering the prices here.

The nonsense that the USA fuel ship unluckily delivered the fuel here at a high price the day before the price dropped and that is why we had to wait 4 weeks for the new shipment to be delivered before we can receive that benefit. Normally when that happens the fuel prices have risen again in the USA so we never receive the benefit. We unluckily always manage to receive fuel the day after the prices have risen so we immediately have to pay the increase. Even more remarkable some garages have received the higher prices fuel within 24 hours of the fuel ship leaving the USA.

And we have also learnt the fuel companies do not have to inform the government how much they pay for the fuel and they do not. That is, of course, in keeping with everyone in business except there are only two fuel suppliers and it affects the economy. And when we see the prices people are paying for petroleum in the USA we know we are being ripped off.

The fuel companies believe there is nothing government can do. However, people here are now angry and although it is a game of supply and demand the customer must always win in the end. He is the one who pays.

It is about time the fuel suppliers realised this. Maybe this petition and march might fuel them into re-thinking their strategy of we can charge what we like.


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