St. John has three gas stations and Andrew Rutnik, the Licensing and Consumer Affairs Commissioner, suggests perhaps there should be more. He told a news conference more gas stations in the St. Thomas/St. John District might bring down the cost of fuel. He was reporting on his office’s $60,000 study that found Virgin Islanders pay the world’s highest price for a gallon of gas, excluding taxes. “With the presence of Hovensa on the island of St. Croix, and the close proximity of St. Thomas/St. John to this refinery, Virgin Islanders should be benefiting handsomely in lower fuel costs,” he said, according to a report by the St. John Source.
The Commissioner said he was unable to understand the reason gas prices are so high. Among his recommendations were a new regulatory group to monitor wholesale prices to prevent windfall profits, more competition at the retail level, and educating consumers on how to save on energy costs by maintaining vehicles. “Consumers could save over a million dollars a year by using regular gas when recommended by manufacturers, using self service, and having their cars serviced regularly,” he said.