Michigan bill target predatory fuel pricing

| 9/28/2007

With about three months remaining until Michigan lawmakers wrap up their work for the year, a bill that could draw consideration would make it illegal for fuel stations to limit the amount of fuel sold to customers.

Rep. Jeff Mayes, D-Bay City, said the bill is intended to prohibit fuel stations from discriminating against consumers and protect against predatory pricing.

“We cannot allow a small number of (fuel) stations to play games with consumers,” Mayes said in a written statement.

“Retailers who advertise a certain retail price but then limit the amount that can be purchased are engaging in a deceptive trade practice. That practice violates the notion of a free, fair and open market.”

The protections in the bill wouldn’t apply during emergencies declared by the governor.

Mayes’ bill – HB4913 – is in the House Agriculture Committee. All legislation must be approved by both chambers prior to the end of the regular session, which is scheduled for late December.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Michigan in 2007, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor