Public backs gas price petition

| 29/09/2015 | 43 Comments
Cayman News Service

Shoppers sign the petition at local supermarket

(CNS): Organisers of a campaign pressing for a cut in gas prices and more government control of the bulk fuel importers’ pricing mechanisms have gathered well over 5,200 signatures in support of their action. At the weekend volunteers from the ‘Cayman Is Fed Up With High Gas Prices’ committee took to the streets across the Cayman Islands, and according to the committee chair, George Ebanks, they were met with an “outpouring of public support” from people backing the cause.

Signatures have been steadily mounting since the launch of the campaign earlier this month but many more were collected this weekend at a family fun day on Coe Wood Beach, Bodden Town, and at supermarkets all over Grand Cayman. Volunteers have also collected signatures on the Sister Islands and petition sheets circulating across the islands are filling up. Ebanks said that at times this weekend crowds were six people deep as the public waited to put their names to the petition, which is asking government to address the islands’ inexplicably high gas prices.

Ebanks believes they will have as many as 15,000 names on the petition when the group hands it over to government following a public march on the parliament building, schedule for 14 October.

Campaigners are pressing the government to bring effective and sufficient legislation to bring down fuel costs and help make the sector more transparent. For many years the question about why gas prices are so much higher in Cayman than in the US, where the fuel is purchased, has remained unanswered as neither duty nor importation costs can account for the significant difference. As a result, the two bulk importers have been accused of price gouging and collusion.

Another mystery that both government and the public have struggled to solve is why when oil prices fall around the world it can take many weeks, even months, before the price at Cayman pumps reflect that decline but as soon as prices increase on the world markets, the increases are made almost immediately at the local pumps.

Government has drafted an amendment to the dangerous substances law, which will be debated when the Legislative Assembly is scheduled to meet next month. It plans to introduce a fuel commission to make gas prices more transparent and force the bulk importers to show their mark-up. Government has threatened to impose price controls and said this might happen if the importers do not begin to explain their pricing mechanisms and set more realistic pump prices.

However, the committee is concerned the law will not go far enough and is keen to demonstrate to government the widespread support in the community for action that will result in more realistic gas prices to the consumer. They are hoping that a significant cut in gas prices will cut the cost of living for all, reducing not just transport costs but CUC bills and the price of retail goods and services in general.

Planning to keep up the pressure, Ebanks said the volunteers will be out in force again this weekend at all of the islands’ supermarkets. He said people just want to see the fuel importers sell their commodity at a genuine market price, which should lead to a significant drop.

“This matter affects all of us on all three islands,” he said. “Once this is brought under control, every other financial aspect should follow suit. In other words, there is a trickle down benefit to our lives once we tell the monopolies on gas prices we’ve had enough.”

Ebanks urged everyone to stand up and make their voices count, and with more than 5,000 people already committed to the cause and many more expected, impressive numbers will help reinforce the message that Cayman truly is fed up with the gas prices it is forced to pay, despite the recent dramatic fall in fuel prices on the world stage.

The public march has been confirmed for 14 October, starting at 9am on the lawns of the Glass House on Elgin Avenue and ending at the steps of the LA Building, where it is hoped that all the MLAs, including the premier, will come out to receive the petition and see the support government has for the legislation.

The committee is seeking volunteers for this coming Saturday and anyone who can spare two hours on is asked to contact the committee at gaspetition2015@gmail.com.

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Category: Laws, Local News, Politics

Comments (43)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    simple minded is why you stand in line to put your X down
    I guess you also believe the ship is free and the delivery trucks don’t have to be replaced and the delivery around the island is free and pumps are free and the Filipino works for nothing get real everything in cayman is expensive and that’s the way it is

  2. Pj says:

    If government think fuel price too high then open the government gas station to sell fuel!

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is free market you people just don’t know it. Whats to stop anybody from bringing in fuel I know plenty that do see those tankers that say diesel on them with a rack around them that is diesel brought into the island by private business that have taken it upon themselves to do what you complain about cut the price of their fuel If you really care step up or shut up and bring in your own fuel Cry Babies

  4. Sharkey says:

    I think that this is great to see everyone come together to make a difference and fighting against the big oil companies for lower gas prices. I think that if other issues are upsetting our lives and money, then just staying in a big group to protest your cause. I think that we are going to see big results from the petition and the march to the LA.

  5. Kadafe says:

    I am all for lowering the cost of living here in Cayman Islands, however the price of gas at the pump will not greatly change the $25 that I currently put into my tank per week. We also need to focus on getting the prices down at the supermarkets and Electricity company.Then all residents can feel the relief that we are so desperately needing. Two bags of stuff from the supermarket can cost $50 two or three times a week! The fuel surcharge for Electricity equals and sometimes greater than the energy charge? and please don’t tell me it will trickle down because I have not witnessed anything but increased prices at the mentioned places in recent years!

    • Chris v d Bol says:

      said it before so saying it again, the big scam is fuel quality, both fuel companies been selling cheap stale fuel since beginning of time due to nonexistent quality controls, rubis finally solved the problem so let’s see how long it takes SOL to do the same so everybody should buy Rubis because it’s amazing value, maybe when SOL see how much money they losing they may wake up, don’t care, Rubis is wayyy better, thanks Rubis, took you long enough tho.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I sure would be happy if gas prices would be lowered and that decrease would actually make its way through to my utility bill and the grocery prices etc, however, if this only achieves a decrease at the pump, it really doesn’t concern me that much as I am driving a rather economic car.

    Judging by the numbers of gas guzzlers being driven around on Island, including the number of people who happily carry on a half hour conversation with someone through their car window while the car is running, the amount of motor bikes racing up and down on Hirst Road just for fun, as well as the amount of private boats out at Rumpoint on Sundays and Public Holidays actually suggests that gasoline prices are not high enough to encourage some conservational behavior. There are folks that can barely pay their mortgage yet they are with their boats out every Sunday boozing it up. Just saying…

  7. Anonymous says:

    the price of fuel currently in Bermuda, a similar sized island WITH FUEL REGULATIONS is around $7.03 CI per imperial gallon.

    • Bling Man says:

      They got bigger crooks run there contry.

    • @2:43pm. Bermuda places a “special sur-charge” on their fuel as an additional way to dissuade persons from buying a vehicle there.
      Go to Bermuda yourself- you’ll see what I am talking about.
      No comparison to Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman adds 75 cents to every gallon as Duty, no comparison to the USA, but everyone keeps doing the comparison. It also does not have refineries, or millions of people, and yet they keep comparing it to the USA. Compare it to similar islands.

        • Anonymous says:

          Wrong. Start with the US gulf refinery dock price of about $1.50 (or you can look up Venezuela or Trinidad) and add a little freight to Cayman. That is the price available to the importers. The rest is the markup from the terminal to the pump in Cayman. Sure looks like there has been collusion in setting the prices, and someone is making a boatload of money.

          • Anonymous says:

            How is that wrong? The government here adds 75 cents per gallon for duty. There is no dispute in that fact. Why is everyone comparing this market to one of the largest markets in the world instead of other Islands of similar sides?

          • Anonymous says:

            I am very curios as to how much you feel a “boat load of money is”? and very curious who specifically you think is making it.
            (not being condescending, I am legitimately curious).

            • StandUp! says:

              http://youtu.be/ADecI4xw-yg

              This is an example of what’s going on in Cayman. I mean dah, look also at the big FIFA mess. Money talks. And Cayman has a lot of listeners! Specifically Government people in high positions! It’s like a big mafia island here. It’s a joke but it’s not laughable. It’s very serious what’s going on with Cayman Islands. I mean we’ve got the crooked government, crooked RCIP, hey, somebody, please help me make the list longer.

      • Anonymous says:

        So you are saying that they have OVER a 2 CI Per gallon “sur-Charge”? If the “sur-charge” is with 2 CI, then again, their price would be almost exactly the same as Cayman, making it a fair comparison.

      • Anonymous says:

        Berumdas tax is 2.15 CI per Imperial Gallon, making their price $4.88 CI an Imperial Gallon, Regulated Market vs Un-Regulated Market… Seems like a pretty amazing comparison to me.

        • Anonymous says:

          If you take the 75 cents per gallon away here that makes CI fuel almost 1 CI lower than that market. (no tax vs no tax)

        • Anonymous says:

          You mean their price without the “Sur-Charge” is 4.88 CI per gallon

  8. The Pastafarian says:

    Sam. the dump should be number one on the Things To Do list of every MLA. Why isn’t it???

  9. Anonymous says:

    Very calous and greedy Gas Station Owners – robbing the poor and vulnerable. I strongly believe in karma and you will all have your day!!!!!!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Check out this fascinating league table of gas prices by country and affordability index. Gas prices just ain’t that bad. Factor in that in Cayman average mileage driven per driver is far lower than in the US.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/visual-data/gas-prices/

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. Gas is cheap in Cayman. It is simply inane comparison with the U.S. that skews perceptions.

      • Anonymous says:

        BS. The refinery price in the US at a Texas dock is about $1.50. You can ship anyhere in a tanker for less than $0.15 per gallon. These are prices that are available to the Cayman importers. So why do they have to mark it up another $3.00 at the pump? Answer–they don’t have to, they just do..

      • Anonymous says:

        Gas is expensive in Cayman. It is simply the inane comparison with the U.K. that skews your perception.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Please consider this tried and proven method of pulling not only the retailers, but also the importers into line by the consumers controlling the market for gasoline.
    Starting on a Friday, we all use only one brand of gas from any of its retailers. Two weeks later we all switch to the other brand for two weeks.
    Within a very short time both players in the gas supply business will know that the majority of drivers really mean to control, to a degree, the distribution of a must have commodity.
    Once the importers have settled on a best price for the consumer, we will have the opportunity to pick and choose between the retailers on a daily price comparison.
    If only 75% of Caymanians cooperate on this scheme then the whole community will benefit.
    First make Rubis and Esso honest and then put pressure on the guys who set the retail price.
    Don’t be hoodwinked by giveaway gimmicks, they do nothing but benefit a very few drivers.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Stupidest petition EVER. Who on earth DOES NOT support low gas prices?

    What exactly does a person’s signature on this petition tell us? That they are in favor of lower gas prices? We already know that. Nobody, but nobody, is against lower gas prices! (Not counting the tiny handful of gas station owners!). If politicians need a petition to tell them that we have bigger problems than high gas prices!

    Enough already. Spend your time on something constructive.

    It would make more sense if it had a practical proposal to support (and I don’t mean Venezuela-style price control).

    What next? A petition against hurricanes? War? Disease? Obesity?

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so right, and it will never be a true reflection because civil servants are not allowed to sign petitions. At least ones against CIG views they are told, so most never bother to sign even the ones that they supposedly can. This is also due to fear that they might be penalized, same with the OMOV.

      Yet it is say this is a free country; should be a persons right to speak up once they do so in a responsible manner in keeping with the law. Hypocrisy at its highest!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Government control of the bulk fuel importers’ pricing mechanisms? Competition is good and is regulation bad.
    If you want to enjoy lower prices and better quality products and services, whether in air travel, cell phone service, health care, or anything else, the solution is to stop the government from trying to manage markets and to make them free instead, thus increasing competition. More innovation, more choices, and lower prices would result.

    • Ronald Tibbetts says:

      I know why you don’t use your name, Mr. Anonymous 10:17! You have a monetary interest in one of the local fuel companies….. or are both “companies” actually the same with made-up names? You said, “the solution is to stop the government from trying to manage markets and to make them free instead, thus increasing competition.” What competition are you referring to? I don’t see any! For your information, the government has NOT put any controls as yet, and fuel prices are completely out of reason, so your claim of lower prices is bogus. Shame on you!

    • The same guy says:

      The fuel cartel is trying to BS the public with their partial truths. They don’t want you to know that there isn’t any competition here in the fuel industry. Are most of the “Anonymous” commenters the same person writing for the fuel companies, or do they have several trolls writing for them?

  14. Anonymous says:

    We all would like lower fuel prices but to compare the prices in Cayman with the prices in the US is a useless comparison. Look at other smaller countries and you will realise our prices are not that bad. I imagine that what our fuel distributors make off of business in Cayman isn’t much as a percentage of their overall profits. Start making it more of a pain for them to do business here and lets see where that gets us.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Gas prices are only high if you compare them to the US. US gas prices are too low.

    • AKL says:

      Stupid comment ! So if US gas prices are “too low” then wth are Cayman Gas prices “so high”?? Ejut…your obviously on the receiving end.

  16. Elena says:

    When Cayman will be fed up with the Dump?

  17. Sam says:

    I wish they were that enthusiastic about the Dump.

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