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Gas Station Owners Say They're Not Gouging As People Feel Pain At Pumps

NATICK (CBS) - The total was $110 for landscaper Otto Mariano to fill three-quarters of the gas tank in his truck Tuesday. "You know the consumers are the ones getting hurt," he said.

He was filling up at Milch Motors in Natick, where the owner had to scrape protest stickers with pictures of Biden and Trump off his pumps. "It's not that easy," Johnny Milch laughed. "It's not how it works. It's a global market."

His little gas station in Natick is at the end of a long chain of events that starts with underground drilling for crude. According to the Energy Information Administration, the biggest percentage of the U.S. crude supply comes from the United States, at 38%. Only about 3% comes from Russia.

"We're not importing a lot of gasoline directly from Russia," said Jay Zagorsky a senior lecturer at Boston University. "You can take a barrel of oil and convert it into gasoline at a refinery in less than 24 hours. So there's a really fast track through refineries and then it's just getting it on tanker trucks to your local gas station."

Gas prices

Today, East Coast wholesalers are charging gas stations an average of $3.43 a gallon, according to the Energy Information Administration. In Massachusetts, gas stations are turning around and charging consumers an average of $4.24, according to AAA. That's a difference of 81 cents a gallon.

Johnny Milch from Milch Motors says people can rest assured, gas station owners are not getting rich off this crisis. "I don't think anyone's gouging anyone," he said. "I mean people who are in this business need to make money."

Just to make sure of that, the Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin asked for the state to look into gas and oil pricing practices across the state.

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