It is perfectly obvious that whenever anyone purchases anything in the Virgin Islands (or anywhere else, for that matter), the cost of transportation, insurance, interest, and taxes (not to mention profit) must be added to the initial price of the product. St. Thomas must buy its gasoline from outside St. Thomas. It must pay for all these costs before it is delivered to the station. The length of the sea voyage does not add significantly to the cost (Puerto Rico to St. Thomas or from St. Croix to St. Thomas).
So, why is it such a mystery to the Commissioner of Licensing and Consumer Affairs that there is a gasoline price differential between the islands?
There is also a price differential between islands for the air-fare from almost anywhere, Puerto Rico, New York, Miami to St. Thomas vs. St. Croix. Is the Commissioner (or anyone else in the administration and legislature) investigating that issue?
Efforts by the Commissioner to level the inter-island gasoline prices have had some effect. As a result of his "price freeze," the price differential has been reduced somewhat. Not by lowering the prices on St. Thomas, but by price increases on St. Croix only.
Quit picking on St. Croix and our Hovensa. If you are really interested in creating equity in gasoline prices, why not push for an oil refinery on St. Thomas and/or St. John. Then you might have price equity, albeit along with all the other "goodies" of an oil refinery (while you are about it, why not a rum distillery?)
The historical trends, Commissioner, have not been from capitalism to communism (socialism). It doesnt work that way. Quit beating this gasoline price equity "dead horse."
Robert V. Vaughn.
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