Yes. You read that right. Some rogue oil companies are pricing their gasoline too low. The bastards.
Under Gov. Jesse Ventura, the state adopted a law in 2001 that prohibits gas stations from selling gas without taking a minimum profit. These days, they must charge at least 8 cents per gallon, plus taxes, more than they paid for it.
On Friday, the Commerce Department announced a $70,000 fine against Arkansas-based Murphy Oil for breaking the law at its 10 stations in the state, based at Wal-Mart stores and elsewhere. They also fined Kwik Trip Inc. $5,000 for violations at one station in Apple Valley.
The two are the first fines levied under the law, which is similar to minimum-price laws in about a dozen states. Another two dozen have broader laws banning predatory pricing.
I understand the intent of the law. And I understand why such safeguards might be needed.
Also, in Michigan, mergers are blamed for higher prices. And the source of fear about the end of competition.