— Staff reports
States eye fuel price gouging
Kentucky’s attorney general has accused Marathon Petroleum Co. of fuel price gouging, while officials in other states warily eye the issue.
Kentucky AG Jack Conway asked for a temporary injunction against Marathon May 13, alleging the company illegally raised wholesale fuel prices during an emergency. The pleading filed in Franklin Circuit Court accuses company officials of violating Kentucky’s price-gouging statute during a state of emergency declared April 26 because of flooding.
Conway asked the court to require Marathon to lower wholesale prices in Kentucky to the price charged on April 25. His filing was included in an ongoing case against the company and its subsidiary, Speedway, for alleged price-gouging violations following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.
The law permits suppliers to increase prices only if there has been a hike in the supplier’s costs, but the company’s costs do not justify the price increases, Conway said.
In 2008, his office began investigating how wholesale fuel prices affected Louisville market prices. Marathon’s 1996 acquisition of Ashland Oil reduced fuel market competition in Kentucky, he said. Conway referred that antitrust investigation to the federal Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group, which investigates allegations of fraud and market manipulation in the oil and petroleum industry.
— Jill Dunn
Road Team driver goes to White House
Ralph Garcia, a member of America’s Road Team, told Obama administration officials that the government should encourage job-seekers to enter trucking. His appearance at the White House forum was part of National Transportation Week.
Garcia, a driver with ABF Freight System, was one of 20 transportation professionals who participated in the May 16 roundtable that focused on how best to promote careers in transportation.
“In my 30 years as a driver, I’ve seen so much of this great country that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience,” said Garcia, a native of New Mexico.
— Staff reports
Jason’s Law reintroduced