Minn. AG sues propane company

Kathy Woods Oct. 9, 2009, 1:18pm

Lori Swanson (D)

ST.PAUL, Minn. (Legal Newsline)-The Minnesota Attorney General's office has filed a lawsuit against one of the nation's largest propane energy companies, alleging that they deceived consumers in their ads about their rates and fees charged for propane.

Attorney General Lori Swanson's lawsuit alleges that Farrellgas often exceeds the average rates charged by the propane industry.

A spokesman for Farrellgas, Jim Saladin, has said that he hasn't seen the complaint yet but states that Farrellgas' propane prices are very competitive "or we wouldn't be in the business."

Propane is a gas often used to heat homes. The company has about 50,000 customers in Minnesota, many of whom live in rural areas.

Farrellgas is home based in Overland Park, Kan.

On Wednesday Farrellgas, in a rarely seen move, filed a lawsuit with the Ramsey County District Court asking a judge to intervene in the suit so that the attorney general does not "strong-arm" them into an arduous settlement agreement.

"If the Attorney General's office wants to regulate propane prices, we believe that is outside her authority. We think our customers are smart enough to make their own decisions," Saladin said.

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