Gas prices Louisville KY
Marathon's stranglehold on the wholesale gas market is “most pronounced” in Louisville and Covington, where cleaner-burning reformulated gas ("RFG") is required during the summer to reduce air emissions – but the company's abuse of its monopoly "harms everyone in Kentucky, " Conway said in a news conference Tuesday.
Marathon, which owns the only oil refinery in Kentucky and another refinery nearby in Illinois, supplies about 95 percent of the RFG gas sold in Louisville and Northern Kentucky, according to the Conway lawsuit.
Conway said his analysis shows Louisville wholesale gas prices running roughly 25 cents higher than in St. Louis, the closest comparable market where the cleaner-burning RFG is required. The lawsuit says that prices at the pump - excluding taxes - were 17.3 cents higher on average in Louisville than in St. Louis during the summer of 2014.
Marathon exacted an extra $40 million from Louisville wholesale and retail sales last summer due to its anti-competitive pricing, according to expert witnesses prepared to testify in court, Conway said at the news conference.
Conway said his investigation shows some independent gas retailers are required to buy 100 percent of their fuel from Marathon through supply agreements he calls unlawful, and that Marathon has entered into “exchange agreements” with other refiners to keep their products out of the Kentucky market.
Conway also said Marathon has placed deed restrictions on former gas stations it has sold in Louisville and Lexington that prevent the buyer from using the property as a gas station, or that require the fuel be purchased only from Marathon.
"Marathon Petroleum Co. disputes the allegations outlined by Attorney General Jack Conway at a news conference earlier this afternoon and will defend this judicial action vigorously in court, " the Findlay, Ohio-based company said in a prepared statement Tuesday, declining further comment.
Conway brushed aside reporters' questions about the timing of the lawsuit only a few weeks before he begins the general election campaign for governor.
He said it's taken time for his office – which has no anti-trust expertise – to get the case together, and that he shouldn't refrain doing his job protecting Kentucky consumers because it might be perceived as political.
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What were the highest gas prices in louisville ky in 2008?
One year ago, the AAA Gas Report says the area was paying an average of $3.971 a gallon for regular gas.