Missouri Gas Makes the Slate
Slate magazine’s popular "Explainer" series discusses why gas is cheaper in Missouri than in the rest of the nation. Before we go further, sit back and appreciate that fact. OK, now we can continue. It’s a great article, which is generally true for "Explainer," and it touches all the important issues. I was a little perplexed when the headline indicated ethanol was going to get the credit, but the explanation was spot-on. Ethanol may well be cheaper than oil right now. It has other factors that likely change that in the big picture (subsidies, slightly reduced gas mileage, etc.) but that is not the point of this article, which is simply what we pay when we fill up today at the pump.
My favorite part of the article is the section on how the retailers that sell gas in Missouri often sell other products (left unsaid is that the main product is beer) that allow them to keep gas prices low and make nice profits on those other sales. We often forget in Missouri how much stricter other states can be about who, when, and what can sell alchohol. Here, we just buy it at gas stations, grocery stores, liquor stores, blood donation centers, anywhere. And we can buy it just about anytime except early Sunday mornings. My friends and I made innumerable late-night beer runs from Fairfield, Conn., to Portchester, N.Y. (one-hour round trip if you drove really fast), in college because of Connecticut’s stupid 8 p.m. alchohol sales cut-off law. Dear God, do I love Anheuser-Busch and its lobbying efforts!