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Premium tops out at $5.11

By Emmanuel T. Erediano SAIPAN, CNMI Islands (Marianas Variety, April 21, 2011) – Just two weeks after Mobil Oil Marianas raised its prices, it increased the cost of its regular gasoline yesterday by US 10 cents and diesel by US 20 cents.

From US$4.55, Mobil’s regular gas is now US$4.65 for self-service. It is US 13 cents higher when you get it full-service.

Premium gas went up from US$4.87 to US$4.97 and diesel from US$4.86 to US$5.11.

This is the sixth time gas prices went up this year.

From US$4.12 last year, the price went up to US$4.20 on Jan. 17, then to US$4.25 on Feb. 2.

Prices then went up by 10 cents twice last month: to US$4.35 on March 1 and to US$4.45 on March 23 before it reached US$4.55 on April 6.

Rep. Joe M. Palacios, R-Saipan, said gas prices are "going crazy" these days but "we don’t have control over those increases."

He said the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) government should act immediately in pursuing renewable energy.

The CNMI, he added, should start to wean itself from fossils fuel and work on a request for proposals as quickly as possible.

He noted that government operations also require gasoline for vehicles.

Boyet Romero, a tour agent, said US$50 worth of gas usually was enough to fill up the company vehicle he used. Not anymore, he added.

He also remembers that a few years ago, his own car could last two weeks with just US$10 of gas. Now, it’s only good for two days.

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