YDR Insider

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A visit from Rutter’s president Scott Hartman

Diagram by Rutter's President Scott Hartman of the gasoline supply chain in central Pennsylvania .

If he weren’t president of Rutter’s Farm Stores, Scott Hartman would make a good college professor or high school teacher. Give him a marker and a white board and watch him go to town diagramming the gasoline supply system in central Pennsylvania.


Scott Hartman

That’s what he did today during an editorial board visit. Look for a story by our business department on the topic soon.

The upshot of the discussion: York County could face some pretty serious gasoline supply and price problems this summer.

It’s a complicated issue, with lots of moving parts, but the simplified version is that refinery closures in the Philadelphia area could pinch supplies to central Pennsylvania and parts west toward Pittsburgh.

The closures could result in less fuel in pipelines that supply this region. And other major pipelines are at capacity supplying other areas.

Mr. Hartman said the futures market suggests perhaps an 18-cent-per-gallon increase in fuel costs.

He stopped by to give us a heads-up. It’s smart public relations on his part. People tend to blame retailers for gas prices that are really a result of much wider market forces. Gas sellers like Rutter’s actually make pretty small profits per gallon.

Mr. Hartman’s visit made a complex issue easy to understand. We appreciate the time and effort that community and business leaders such as Mr. Hartman expend to talk to our reporters and editors about such subjects. We’re very much interested in scheduling such meetings. Please call editorial page editor Scott Fisher at 771-2049 if you’d like to talk to our editorial board or other groups of editors.

We have busy schedules but will make time for such meetings. This week we have two — Mr. Hartman today and Democracy Rising founder Tim Potts on Wednesday. On Jan. 31, we’ll be meeting  with Tom Wolf and other managers of The Wolf Organization at one of that company’s sites.

P.S. to Mr. Hartman: We can’t wait to try the new macaroni and cheese dish (with a variety of meat toppings!) Rutter’s will soon offer at its food counters.