Irate Gas Stations Protest Gouging —By Charging $10 a Gallon

Franchises angry at varying Lukoil prices
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 13, 2012 9:55 AM CDT
A protest sign is seen at a Lukoil service station Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, in Princeton, NJ.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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(Newser) – More than 50 Lukoil gas station owners in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are fuming over price discrepancies—so they've simply ratcheted their gas up to $9.99 a gallon. They're angry because the Russian firm sells gas to local franchises at very different prices, even if the stations are near each other. The difference can run up to 25 cents per gallon, NBC News reports. That's prompting customers to do their business elsewhere, franchise owners say.

"I feel they have been gouging us," says one. "We are not looking to get rich. I am trying to survive." Lukoil, for its part, says it's employing a "commercially reasonable practice used by gasoline marketers for many years, which is fully compliant with New Jersey statutes." But gas stations' irritation with the company has been building for years, says an advocate. The protest was to run for 24 hours.

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