From a reader, regarding Thursday's You Asked:

Answer Man:

Last week when you answered the question on gas prices you may as well not even have tried that one. I was going to ask you the same question. You were so wishy-washy that I couldn't figure out what you said after you said it.

Over the past years the gas prices have fluctuated in Rochester as did the prices in surrounding towns. Sometimes Rochester was higher and sometimes Rochester was lower. I was ok with that. I thought it had something to do with the price of gas that was received at the station. The last three weeks the price in metropolitan Rochester have been five (5) to eight (8) cents higher than the surrounding towns. Why is that?

Answer, please


Tom Most

My response to Tom...though if others want to point me toward more solid evidence, I remain all ears:

It's imponderable, Tom -- no one can adequately explain (or even document over a meaningful period of time) area variations in gas prices, not even the Magnificent One. Like you, presumably, I'm willing to attribute some sinister motives and believe it's due in part to greed. Unlike most people, though, I really can't get too jazzed by the subject...if I studied it to death, I still wouldn't have an answer that makes anyone feel better, and we still need the gas.

But give me your ideas on how a reporter could reasonably get at the truth, or even document prices without devoting an absurd amount of time to this, and I'll be happy to dig further.

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