Feeling sorry for gas station owners might be more than the average consumer can muster these days, but, reports the Washington Post, the emotion might not be misguided. Oil giants like Exxon cut owners' profit margins and raise rents, while micromanaging details down to which shelf franchisees place soda on. If the owner raises the price per gallon a few pennies, Exxon spikes its wholesale price, leaving little room for earnings.
"Why is the government giving Exxon subsidies and tax breaks when they're making billions of dollars and when they squeeze every dime they can out of every dealer who made that profit for them?" asks one station owner. (Read more Exxon stories.)