During the past 30 years my family and I have made hundreds of trips from downstate to the Alpena area. During the first 15 years or so, it was extremely frustrating that gas prices were incredibly high in the Alpena area when compared to prices in other areas of the State. We could escape the excessive cost by filling up while coming or going. That was not the case for those who live in the Alpena area. In recent years gas prices seemed to be reflective of the State average. That all came to an abrupt halt. While driving up on Monday April 9 the price of gas at a discount retailer at Clio was $3.77 per gallon. Driving further north passing the numerous perpetual gougers the price was $3.99, then $4.09 and in Alpena $4.14 with the same discount retailer found in Clio selling gas at $4.12. How can the same retailer charge 35 cents a gallon more for the identical product? How can every retailer have identical and excessive prices? This time the politicians, big oil companies and speculators can't be blamed. The answer must be local. Is it the distributers? Is it the owner/operators? These folks controlling the prices are your neighbors and "friends." If this situation continues what will the impact be on tourism? Given the economic hardship of many in this area I find this situation unconscionable.