The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

December 20, 2012

Our Readers Speak — Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012

Price fixing continues in the Lewisburg area

The Grinch lives in Greenbrier County

I do a lot of traveling from the Lewisburg area to the Beckley area and this gives me the chance to compare gas prices. Today, Friday the 14th, I saw gas prices at $3.48 in Lewisburg and as low as $3.32 in Beckley. That’s a 16 cents difference.

I have asked about this huge difference in two towns less than 50 miles apart. The gasoline bulk supplier is in Roanoke which means the tanker trucks actually drive 50 miles further to deliver to Beckley. Why are the prices so much higher in the Lewisburg area? It boils down to corruption and greed.

I know for a fact that our local owners of these gas stations in the Lewisburg area have their own little oil cartel that meets on a regular basis to set gas prices. I also know that this practice is supposed to be against the law. Collusion, is what it is called. I’ve called the State Attorney General’s office in Charleston to try to ask them why they let this illegal practice go on unchecked, I got an answering machine directing me to tell them what my complaint was and they would mail me a complaint form to fill out and mail back. About 45 days went by and the form finally arrived. What a joke!

The taxpayers of West Virginia provide the salaries of everyone at the Attorney General’s office so why do they not want to do their jobs? Maybe it is time for the taxpayers to demand they do their jobs or they should leave and let someone who wants to protect the interests of W.Va. Taxpayers have those jobs. There is a huge supply of people looking for good jobs right now. No shortage at all.

Right here at Christmas, price fixing continues in the Lewisburg area. The members of this little oil cartel are unconscionable. We should run every single one of these people out of town on a rail.

James G. Livesay