Maryland to Repeal Gas-Pricing Law?

A Maryland Republican lawmaker is hoping to repeal a law he says is keeping competition from driving down gas prices in his state, The Washington Times reported.

Delegate Warren E. Miller has been trying for three years to repeal a law “that forces lower-cost gas stations, such as Wawa and Sheetz, to conform to the prices used by franchisee gas stations,” the report said.

The franchises stations use a pricing system and fuel additives that make their gas cost slightly more than the unbranded gas sold at stations such as Sheetz and Wawa. Miller told the newspaper “the law has stifled competition and has kept gas prices higher than they need to be.”

Current Maryland law prohibits a retail service station from selling gas "below cost," which is defined as the average "rack" reseller price determined by the Oil Price Information Service.

Twenty-two states had "Sale Below Cost" laws similar to Maryland’s as of 2002, according to a study published in the Journal of Urban Economics. Arkansas and Georgia both lost court battles shortly after enacting their laws and were forced to repeal them, the newspaper reported.

css.php