Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Nostalgia for the gas wars

Here are a pair of lawmakers who profess that the free market is the friend of the commuter in his 6-year-old Chevy. You may remember a few years ago when Florida forbade the sale of gasoline at a price below what the seller paid. This was meant to protect small merchants -- independent service stations and mom-and-pop convenience stores -- from the predation of Wal-Mart super stores and Big Oil's company-owned outlets.

Well, there aren't that many service stations anymore where you can get a brake job as well as a fillup. So I can see why someone might rationalize that a new outbreak of gas wars, like we had in the cheap-oil era, would be welcome.

But I don't want to see gasoline retailing get any more centralized than it is. I can't believe that discount pricing will continue one day longer than the disappearance of the last independent outlet in any given market.

Read more about the bill in the Palm Beach Post.

The sponsors are David Russell, R-Spring Hill, and Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton. The current state of their bill can be found here.

No comments: