OLYMPIA, WA €" With gas prices in Washington State increasing nearly 20 cents a gallon in the past month, gasoline station owners and fuel distributors "are feeling the pinch as much or more than consumers," The Olympian reports.
According to Lea Wilson, executive director of the Washington Oil Marketers Association, rising gasoline prices affect all phases of fuel marketers€™ operations.
"When prices go up, consumers buy less gas," Wilson said. "The gas business is a volume business, not a price business €¦ The more gallons we sell, the more money we make."
Wilson also said neither gas stations nor oil companies are responsible for rising fuel prices. Rather, she attributed the blame squarely to Wall Street speculators.
"I believe the oil companies are bringing the product to market for as reasonable as they can," Wilson said. "I truly believe our price increases are coming from spot market prices of crude oil €" which is driven by Wall Street speculators."
"We€™ve got plenty of supply," she said. "So it€™s not a shortage that€™s driving up pump prices."
Other oil industry experts blame rising fuel prices on increased demand from China, as well as a change in policy by oil producer Saudi Arabia.