I have tried to get answers from the authorities as to why gas prices can be 30-40 cents higher in Glasgow than in Bowling Green, and it looks like we are helpless!
Jack Conway, our attorney general, and Todd E. Leatherman, the executive director of the office of consumer protection, offered me the following explanation May 5:
“Our office shares your concern about rising gasoline prices. Antitrust and consumer protection laws in this area are extremely complex. The pricing conduct which may appear unfair may nevertheless be within the purview of market participants and part of the capitalist system which provides a free market subject of course to fair competition and prohibitions on collusion. The difference in prices between states may be a function of different state tax regimes. Differences in prices from one community to the next can often be the product of differing levels of competition. In a nutshell, unless collusion on pricing is present, gasoline suppliers may charge whatever price the market will bear.
“Despite some common misconceptions: There is no law that requires stations to maintain the same price between tank fillings. There is also no law against raising prices in anticipation of weekends, holidays or pay days unless there is an overt collusion between stations to do this. Responding to a competitor’s decision to raise prices by raising prices a like amount is not evidence of collusion sufficient to support a legal action. This type of comparison pricing occurs in all retail sectors although it’s more noticeable in the gas area because prices are more prominently displayed. ... I hope this rather long response at least offers you some answers as to the legal standards which we, as regulators, must apply in reviewing such activity.”
I wonder how many of us would band together for one week and decide to buy no gas in Glasgow and show the owners that our billfolds and their market cannot and will not stand these higher fluctuating prices?
I wonder if the Glasgow Daily Times would accept the challenge to print the cost of regular unleaded gas in Bowling Green and the price of the same gas in Glasgow on the front page of every issue for a month?
If you can write, please answer me. Please express your frustration with this situation. Perhaps we can start our own gas war and bring down the prices by traveling 30 miles for a fillup. What do you think?
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