Gasoline: It wasn’t always called that. In 1862 a man named Cassel began the whole thing by importing crude oil to fuel lights previously fed by diminishing supplies of whale oil. He called the substance Casoline, which became gazeline in the press (because of a mistake) and then gasoline, as we know it, by the early 1900s. Today it’s sold all over, and the abuses and rules are myriad and many.

Did you know that in Wisconsin it is a felony, with a sentence of over one year in jail, to be caught driving away from a pump without paying for gas? A few miles away in Illinois, it’s a misdemeanor punishable by a fifty dollar fine, and paying for the gas. Always get a receipt out of that machine! You need to be careful when you pump, if you pay with a credit card, and don’t wait or request a receipt. You need to check the pump to see that your transaction is over, or the next person who pulls up can fill his or her tank and add it to your card. In fact, they might not even know they are charging it to you!

It happened last week at Kwik Trip in Lake Geneva. Remember, there is no such thing as regular or middle grade gasoline anymore. It’s all premium so you can put regular in your tank no matter what the manufacturer tells you in the manual. It’s simply too expensive to ship three grades of gas all over the place in different tankers, or tank compartments. They are not cheating you because when you pay for premium that is what you get, and if you use regular you get a break. They don’t tell you because this is America, and that is the human condition. It is up to you to know. Why won’t the people involved in the energy business tell you; the consumer; the customer? For the same reason the airlines all charge for bringing luggage along when you travel, and refuse to tell you why that is fair or okay.

It’s not fair and it’s not nice, but it becomes okay when you cannot get together as a group in order to overpower a monopoly (which is nothing more than the business owners getting together as a group!).

Should We get a Group Together?

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