Nacogdoches man leads protest over gas prices

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Why are gas prices lower in some places and higher than others? That's a question frequently asked by Nacogdoches residents. They often pay higher prices at the pump.

Every day Nacogdoches businessman Paul Hughes goes online to check gas prices.

"Lufkin's 10 cents cheaper than we are right now," said Hughes.

That's pretty much a given. And how do prices compare to Tyler's?

"It's as much as 25 cents cheaper," Hughes said.

"Really? You're kidding. Well, I think it's kinda unfortunate because this is outrageous," said graduate student Mark Stephens. "It's the same gasoline. It didn't come from far away. You start asking who's, I hate to use the word, gouging."

The owner of seven service vehicles holds the distributors, primarily Denny, Jasper and Morgan Oil. responsible.

"The DOC, MOC AND JOC characters and they're the ones, I think, they set the first number," said Hughes.

Unlike larger cities, distributors in this area have little competition, but it can be found.

"You decide. $3.83 versus $3.69," said Hughes.

"I won't fill up my vehicle. I just stop the pump at $50 and wait for a better day, said Hughes.

A day that won't come, says Hughes, unless Nacogdoches consumers speak up.

"If we don't make our voices heard, shame on us. We can make it known that we're aware that Tyler's a lot cheaper than Nacogdoches. Lufkin is cheaper than Nacogdoches," said Hughes.

This watchdog goes to to find the best price. Other sites are available. And word of mouth is good too.

"We don't want to be treated like dummies. We're putting all of them on notice that we're aware of the prices and we want them to be fair and equitable," said Hughes.

Distributors say prices are determined by what they have to pay.

Also, some store owners may charge more to increase their profit.

Local distributors have always contended they charge a fair price for the local market.

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