Mischief may be to blame for Louisville gas prices, Conway thinks

John O'Brien Jul. 3, 2008, 1:55pm


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Legal Newsline) - Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is getting curious about Louisville's high gasoline prices.

On Thursday, Conway announced he will begin an investigation to uncover why Louisville consumers are paying nearly $4.30 per gallon, almost 30 cents more per gallon than in other parts of the state.

"When market participants and experts are telling us this is unusual; when Louisville consumers are paying some of the highest prices for gasoline in the region, I feel it is imperative to find out if those prices are simply a function of the market or if something unlawful is taking place to manipulate prices," Conway said.

Louisville gas stations sell only reformulated gas, designed to be easier on air quality, during summer months, but Conway thinks that might not be the problem - even though RFG is 5-8 cents more expensive per gallon to produce.

Retailers say they are paying wholesalers 20-25 cents more per gallon. Conway said the City of St. Louis also sells only RFG but gas averages less than $4 per gallon.

"Our investigators have been told by various market participants and government officials that these gas prices are abnormally high relative to other markets, so I feel it is in the public interest to determine if a violation of the Consumer Protection Act has occurred, why prices are higher in Louisville and whether any laws have been violated," Conway said.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at john@legalnewsline.com.

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