Industry representatives, including Skip Vallee, CEO and chairman of RL Vallee, a company founded by his grandfather, attributed the higher prices at the pump to the high cost of doing business in Vermont.
Vallee's company runs 28 convenience stores in Vermont and seven in New York and one in New Hampshire, most of which are operated under the Maplefields brand.
employs 480 Vermonters and delivers fuel to 21 independent customers in Vermont.
Customers pay a higher price at his
convenience stores for a higher quality experience, Vallee
company offers a safe, attractive shopping experience for customers and perks like spotless bathrooms adorned with fresh flowers.
said, couldn't be more transparent about gas prices - after all, he
said the per gallon rate is advertised on a 5-foot by 12-foot sign.
blamed higher prices at his
station on a variety of factors that boiled down to this: "It's no secret that the cost of living in Vermont is high.
Income taxes, property taxes, and even sales and gas taxes are a real challenge and should be a top priority for our elected officials," Vallee
pays double in property taxes for a station in Vermont (about $56,000 a year) as he
does for a store in New York (about $22,000).
Not to mention the cost of crude.
Vallee argues that Vermont's
higher prices at the pump come down to wholesale distribution of oil.
recommended that the state obtain crude from the Portland pipeline.
"The price of Northeast product could decline by 36 cents a gallon if we had pipeline access to oil sands and Midwestern crude," Vallee
"Of course, many will say that Canadian oil sands are an inappropriate source, citing global warming concerns," Vallee
"To those folks, I would reiterate my earlier statement about having to base decisions on facts and the fact is: The cost to Vermonters for that principled position is 36 cents a gallon - not to mention the increased instability of buying from unfriendly nations."
took Sanders to task for extolling the "lower price promises of the out-of-state, big box, multinational corporation, Costco Wholesale
" and for encouraging Costco
to build a filling station even though it has been in violation of its Act 250 permit.