Plain Talk: A North Dakota gas station owner responds to President Biden’s accusations about prices


MINOT, N.D. — President Joe Biden is putting the blame for high gas prices on gas station owners.

“My message to the companies running gas stations and setting prices at the pump is simple: this is a time of war and global peril,” he wrote in a tweet posted before Independence Day. “Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you’re paying for the product. And do it now.”

How does an actual gas station owner feel about that?

“He seems to think we can drop the price 20 cents to be patriotic,” Kent Satrang said on this episode of Plain Talk.

Satrang is the owner of Petro Serve USA, which has several locations in North Dakota and Minnesota. He said he doesn’t really get to choose his gas prices. His company posts them on the signs along the road, but the amounts are set by a very competitive marketplace.

A station that is selling fuel at a price that’s significantly higher than competing stations simply won’t see business, which is why fuel prices in a particular area tend to be so close.

And besides, Satrang argues, companies like his don’t make much on the fuel anyway. Satrang says his margin amounts to a “few cents a gallon.”

“The actual credit card company makes more off our fuel for their fees than we do,” he said, adding that most of his profits come from the food, drinks, and other items sold in his convenience stores.

Also on this episode, Wednesday co-host Chad Oban and I discuss the unhappy state of America as another Independence Day comes and goes.