High pump prices stretching local businesses to breaking point - WNEM TV 5

High pump prices stretching local businesses to breaking point

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

With gas prices on the rise across the area, drivers are looking for ways to cut back. They're eliminating unnecessary travel and buying more fuel efficient cars and this consumer cost-cutting has forced hundreds of gas stations in Michigan to close their doors.

Long waits are becoming more commonplace for gas consumers and experts say there's a reason for that.

Mark Griffin is president of the Michigan Petroleum Association. The organization runs all the gas stations in the state. Griffin says, "We have seen the decline in the number of gas stations over the last 15 years. 800 to 1,000 locations less than what we had let's say back in the middle 90's."

Griffin says the reason for the trend is simple. Nationwide gas stations sell about 4,000 gallons of gas per day. Here in Michigan, that number is only 2,500. Simply put, there are too many gas stations here in the state.

"People don't buy as many gallons in Michigan. A lot of it having to do with the high unemployment we have and the lousy economy we've seen over the last five or six years," says Griffin.

And if you don't like waiting a long time for gas we've got bad news for you. Griffin expects the closure of gas stations to continue.

That means the consumer will have less choices in terms of where they buy fuel. Meanwhile, many people want the businesses that do stay open, to do a better job catering to customers.

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