Gas Wars

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When you've seen $2.90 plus gas all over mid-Michigan, a $2.74/per gallon price is enough to u-turn over.

In St. Johns, it's old hat.

"Ever since Walmart came to town," says Joe Yock, buying gas Friday at the local Shell.

That Shell station owner, Ross Blodgett, says Walmart and it's partner oil company, Murphy, have controlled prices in the area since they arrived.

IT is great news for customers because prices have been low.

"The problem is the smaller players can't sustain that for a long period of time," says Michigan Petroleum Association President Mark Griffin. He says at today's oil prices, a station breaks even at $2.95. Murphy, he says, can beat that because they're so big.

"They are doing that to drive others from the marketplace."

He says it is likely gas stations will close, and then, prices at Murphy will go up.

A spokesperson for Walmart didn't return out calls in time for publication.

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