Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Gas Pains
It isn't just the end consumer who is feeling the boot of big oil.
For more than two decades, Dave Lalli made an honest living a few blocks from his home, pumping gas and fixing cars at his 19th Street and Oregon Avenue Sunoco station. He made just enough money selling gas to cover the rent and the cost of pumping fuel. His profit came from his markup on repairs in his cramped but clean four-bay garage.

That's all changed in the past two years, as gas prices have gone up about 50 percent.

While Sunoco and other oil companies have reaped profits the size of Saudi sand dunes, Lalli is sinking into financial quicksand. He's some $52,000 in debt and is about to be evicted by Sunoco for not keeping up with increasing rent. He blames the homegrown oil giant's retail pricing strategy.