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Let gas stations have freedom to set their prices

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For generations, thousands of brave men and women have fought in foreign lands and many gave their lives to preserve freedoms for you, for me, for the people we like, and even for the people we don’t like. It is unfortunate that local state legislators introduced and support a foolish and frivolous bill designed to single out and target a specific company for the sole purpose of curbing the company’s freedom to price their product as they see fit.

I don’t know why the gasoline stations in our neighborhoods consistently set the price of their product 10 to 25 cents per gallon higher than stations in nearby communities, but bullying them into lowering their price using the strong arm of the law is not the answer. The stations have the freedom to set their prices as they choose and I have the freedom to choose someplace else to purchase my gasoline, which I do more often than not.

Do the author and supporters of this legislation intend to apply their principle to other corporations as well, such as investigating the price of a box of Cheerios at various locations to make sure it is in compliance with some imaginary government standard relative to its distance from General Mills? Will Arctic Cat dealers close to Thief River Falls be required to sell their machines at a lower price than dealers in other parts of the country?

I suspect this legislation has more to do with a personal disdain for the petroleum industry in general and animosity toward Northern Tier Energy in particular. It’s notable that the publicity on the legislation criticizes Super America’s prices specifically but does not mention nearby competitors who sell their gasoline for exactly the same price.

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