Man protests high gas prices, says he will keep buying gas in Casper, Cheyenne to save $2k/yr

Clifford Smith photo
Sitting in front of the Safeway gas station, Robert Olson protests the “B.S.” Douglas gas prices which sit over $1 more per gallon than Glenrock’s and Casper’s prices.

Cinthia Stimson

Robert “Rob” Olson sat in a metal folding chair Thursday afternoon on the strip in front of Safeway’s gas station on East Richards, his cowboy-boot-clad feet propped up casually in front of him, a ball cap shading his eyes from the early afternoon sun.
Next to him was a huge, cardboard sign spray-painted with the words, “Petrol, Douglas, $1.20 (with an arrow pointing upwards), 40 gal, $2k/year.”
And, in case the public failed to understand his first sign, Olson also had several muddy-looking layers of brown cow pies on the ground in front of another sign, which read, “B.S.”
Olson is upset and irritated that he’s paying close to $2,000 a year more to fill up his vehicles’ gas tanks in Douglas, so he decided to stage his own personal protest to the town’s high gas prices.
“Yes, I am pissed off. Upset. It irritates me to be paying $1.20 more a gallon here in Douglas than Casper, half an hour north of us,” Olson said.
“Like many people, my income is limited. If you average  out (the cost difference) it comes to about $2k a year. That’s not insignificant. We’re getting ripped off.
“If we had to arbitrarily pay $2k more in taxes in a year, that wouldn’t sit well with people. They’d be screaming about it. I protested because I’m trying to bring light to the matter,” he said Monday morning.
Olson stayed in front of Safeway for about three hours. He could see people slowing down to read his sign and he also had a dozen people stop and talk with him, he said.
“One woman stopped, got out of her car and hugged me, and said, ‘Thank you, thank you.’ Everyone who stopped was thankful that someone was saying something about Douglas’ gas prices. One guy and his girlfriend even offered to buy me gas. I don’t think he saw my sign, just maybe thought I needed help buying gas. It was pretty sweet of him. Some chatted with me but a lot of them took pictures of the sign.
“People were supportive. I didn’t have anyone yell at me,” he said, laughing.
Olson is a semi-retired businessman, working in real estate flipping houses. Prior to that he was a fisheries biologist up in Alaska. He lives in Douglas, he said, but travels across the state several times a week.
And, he will drive outside of Douglas to purchase gasoline. Olson said as much as he’s on the road, it’s worthwhile to stop just about anywhere else to buy his gas.
Across Wyoming, gas prices have gone down little by little in the last few months, with the average price in the Cowboy State being $2.94/gallon for regular gas and $2.15/gallon as the lowest price to be found, according to the website Jan. 2.
However, that is not the case in Douglas, where gas averages $3.29/gallon for regular.
Station-by-station, Maverik and Conoco had the lowest gas prices in town at $3.26/gallon each for regular gas; Safeway and Broken Wheel Truck Stop were at $3.27/gallon; Loaf N Jug stood at $3.29/gallon; Speedway was the next highest at $3.35/gallon and the Shell station was the highest at $3.36/gallon (prices documented Jan. 2).
In Glenrock, Eastgate Sinclair station reported $2.35/gallon, up from $2.15/gallon for regular gas Dec. 29. Grab N Dash also stood at $2.35/gallon for regular Jan. 2, about $1 less expensive than Douglas.
Just 48 miles away in Casper, gas prices are even lower with an average of $2.30/gallon for regular. According to, USA Gasoline was the least expensive in the city, at $2.15/gallon for regular, while the highest priced store was the Sinclair Station on 2nd Street at $2.71/gallon – still considerably lower than in Douglas.
“I fill my tank two-to-three times a week. I only fill my tank here if I have no other choice. I buy my gas in Cheyenne or in Casper. If I go to Casper for gas, I’m also going to get groceries. I’m spending a lot of money up there. I’ve talked to people in the gas stations here, but they have nothing to do with it. They’ve said it’s corporate setting the prices,” Olson said.
Calls to Maverik’s and Shell’s corporate press offices questioning why Douglas gas prices are significantly higher than Glenrock’s or Casper’s were not returned prior to press time.
Many folks may wonder if Olson’s gas protest will make a difference in Douglas gas prices?
“Who knows. People were thankful someone was bringing attention to it, saying something.
“The gas prices are going down everywhere else . . .  they have been going down for several months. Why aren’t we seeing similar price reductions in Douglas? We’re getting screwed,” he stated.


Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:506 W. Birch, Glenrock, WY 82637 Mailing Address: PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633 Phone: (307) 436-2211

The Glenrock Independent is located in the Bronco Building

Office hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday - 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday - 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Subscriber Login