Candidate wants gas-price probe
GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado A state lawmaker has asked the attorney general to investigate whether gasoline prices are being fixed in seven northwest Colorado counties including Eagle County.Republican state Rep. Al White who is running for Colorados state Senate District 8 cites what he calls pricing “irregularities” in Garfield, Eagle, Jackson, Moffat, Pitkin, Rio Blanco and Routt counties.Bridgette Boker, manager of the Conoco gas station in Avon, doesnt think theres anything suspicious about gas prices being higher in Eagle County than along the Front Range.Its been like that for the eight years Ive been here, Boker said. But White says he was skeptical about the possibility of collusion until he learned that only a handful of distributors serve most of the gas stations in those counties.Theres got to be dozens and dozens of retail outlets in Colorado there are only a handful of distributors, White said. That made it seem a little more likely that something was going on.White wrote Attorney General John Suthers on Sunday seeking an investigation. Suther’s spokesman Nate Strauch says the office is waiting for more evidence before deciding whether to launch an investigation.White said his only evidence was anecdotal, but that hes had several people confront him about area gas prices.Im not pointing the finger or suggesting something is going on, but I think the attorney general should investigate, he said. Its on the minds of the people Ive talked to.Democrat Ken Brenner who is running against White for the state Senate District 8 seat questioned gas prices in northwest Colorado in an Aug. 23 story in the Craig Daily Press.What Ive found out so far is there is no law in the books for consumer protection as to price gouging for gasoline, Brenner told the newspaper. What it shows to me, were going to have to set up a legislative committee after the election to look at this.Vail Daily reporter Chris Outcalt contributed to this report.
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