The mere discussion of gas on a blog that’s all about buying exclusively from local businesses doesn’t quite make sense. But, gas is unfortunately one of those necessary evils that very few of us can live without. As a family, we probably do better than most. We are a one car family by choice and have the ability to walk to a neighborhood grocery store (A.J.’s – yes, it’s a locally owned store). Yet, we do have to buy gas on occasion and wanted to figure out our best option that contributes the most to the local economy.
Of course, most oil consumed in the United States is derived from other countries, and refineries are located across the United States. Those that produce the most barrels of gas per day are located in Texas and Louisiana. So, the possibility of buying exclusively local gas simply doesn’t exist.
However, some gas purchasing decisions are better than others. In Scottsdale, we have several locally-owned gas station options. SuperPumper, Danny’s Car Wash, CobbleStone Auto Spa, and Bridwell Automotive Center are a few based here. While, of course, they’re buying their gas from outside sources, they do run locally-owned business that support our economy more than the larger gas station chains that are primarily owned by overseas entities.
Let’s take this exercise in consumer spending a bit further. Where do local stations get their gas? Is there a local source for gas distribution? Well, with a little internet sleuthing, I found Western States Petroleum.
Western States Pretroleum, based in Phoenix, has been supplying gas to stations state-wide since 1975. There are a number of stations within the Valley that they supply. What I found interesting about Western States Petroleum was their focus on bio-fuels. They were the first company in Arizona to sell alternative fuel – back in the days when it was made from French fry oil. Yuck! These days, they are bringing in railcars of biodiesel from Iowa and even support a local refinery of biodiesel. I’ll explore this company more in another post. I smell a field trip! Western States Petroleum also sells E85 fuel (85% ethanol fuel used in Flex fuel vehicles) directly to consumers at their headquarters and at a number of Valley stations.
So, we’re going to be buying our gas from one of the locally-owned gas stations that is supplied by the locally-owned distributor. No, it’s not a perfect solution, but it will have to do. And, of course, since we’re not driving all over town to shop and eat at non-local businesses, we’ll probably also cut our consumption of gas this year. Yes, going local is truly a win-win strategy.
Do you know of any other independent, locally-owned gas stations? Send us the link, and we’ll add them to our resources page.
Song of the Day: Putting Out the Fire with Gasoline