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Costco Begins Limiting Gas Sales in New Jersey


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Is this a sign of things to come?

State law in New Jersey has long required that Costco allow anyone, including non-members, to purchase gasoline at its fuel stations.

Costco, and other warehouse clubs, scrapped a similar plan in 2004 to restrict gasoline sales.

However, officials recently determined limiting sales to members only does not violate state consumer protection laws.

Fuel is typically cheaper at Costco than other gas stations and residents of New Jersey without Costco membership have chosen to go there instead of other service stations.

New Jersey residents without a Costco membership will now be unable to fill their tanks at Costco unless they obtain a membership.

ABC7 reported:

Starting Tuesday, only Costco members will be able to fill up at Costco gas stations.

The change includes stations across New Jersey.

Starting July 5, a Costco membership card will be required to buy gasoline at the stations run by the retailer.

Gas at Costco stations is typically less expensive than elsewhere.

The price for a gallon of regular gas at Coscto in New Jersey Tuesday was $4.55, about 25 cents less than the state average for unleaded.

New Jersey, however, has previously said restricting gas sales violates state law, and Costco and other warehouse clubs scrapped a similar plan in 2004 as a result.

Natural News noted:

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Costco seems to be anticipating more demand, which could be why it decided to implement this new change now. There is also speculation, however, that gas prices will jump right back to an upward trajectory in the coming weeks.

“July is typically the heaviest month for demand as more Americans hit the road, so this trend of easing prices could be short-lived,” says Andrew Gross, a spokesman for AAA, which tracks fuel prices across the United States.

Back in May, JPMorgan head of commodities research Natasha Kaneva warned that by August, the national average for a gallon of low-grade gasoline could hit $6.20.

Already in states like California, this is the average. Should the entire country hit that number as an average, then the cheapest grade of gas in the Golden State and other high-priced states could reach close to $10 a gallon.

According to Tamar Essner, a principal at Vectis Energy Partners, the only thing that even stands a chance at stopping gas prices from continuing to inflate with no end is the destruction of demand.

Costco is doing its part in New Jersey by limiting gas purchases only to members, but this will not be enough. Essner says that gas prices will need to increase “quite a bit higher” in order to stop this runaway train.



 

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