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Fuel prices pinch station owners too

That's before our expenses are factored in," said Mailey in a written statement. "Most of our shops are not tied to one brand of gas. This allows us to purchase quality gasoline from a number of different suppliers at the best price possible. Unfortunately, no matter where the gasoline is purchased from, it comes from 'big oil.' Not to mention that most of the United States crude oil supply for refining comes from foreign sources."

"The profit is dwarfed by the amount of work every day," said Brownsen.

"Gasoline is a shrinking profit item. If I make 1percent in gross sales for myself, I'll be first shocked and then ecstatic; it's never going to happen."

According to Brownsen, a "load" of gasoline, which is about 12,000 gallons, goes for $50,000, with service station owners only make 10 cents per gallon.

The result is that they are handling more money now than ever without making any more in profits.

Brownsen said if gas prices get anywhere near $7, his stations would face the danger of declining daily business.

"A lot of smaller service station owners across the country are going to face tougher and tougher challenges," said Brownsen. "It's a very complicated business." ""

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