Gas Rising, Station Owners Barrel Toward Bankruptcy

Fuel hits $4.41 a gallon in Los Angeles, and retailers aren't seeing the profit
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2008 12:24 PM CDT
A gas station employee places the number five on a sign as the price of a gallon of regular grade gasoline.   (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Stiff fuel prices are not pouring cash into the pockets of California gas station owners—instead, they're driving them into bankruptcy. Credit card fees, tanker-load costs, and other rapidly increasing expenses are putting the crunch on retailers, reports the Los Angeles Times.

In LA, where the average retail price is $4.41 a gallon (and the break-even price is $4.62 a gallon), some station owners are voluntarily going without pay to avoid collapse. "In the past four months, 10 of the dealers to whom I supply motor fuel have relinquished to me the deeds to their businesses," a supplier told Congress last month.