Ohio Lawmaker Offers Bill to Regulate Gas Price Increases

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Ohio Lawmaker Offers Bill to Regulate Gas Price Increases

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An Ohio lawmaker reacting to public discontent over the cost of gasoline wants to regulate when gas stations can raise their prices. Sen. Kirk Schuring, R-Canton, has introduced legislation that would bar stations from hiking prices until they receive a new shipment of gas, according to an Associated Press report.

County auditors would be responsible for spotting violators, who would then be turned over to the state attorney general's office. "The motoring public likes the idea," Schuring told AP. "But there are some who have questioned whether or not it's prudent to dictate when prices can go up at the pump. I'm a big believer in the free market, and I've been criticized by some that I've violated the principles of the free market and the law of supply and demand."

The bill also would create a 15-member Ohio Task Force on Gasoline Policy, which would monitor gas prices, analyze the state's oil resources, compare prices in Ohio with those in other states, and push for the increased production of alternative fuels, reported AP.

Gas station operators are opposed to the gas price regulation idea, reported AP. "It's a terrible piece of legislation," said Roger Dreyer, president of the Ohio Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, whose members operate more than 2,900 facilities in the state. He told AP that station owners need the flexibility to raise prices to pay for additional costs that may be passed along to them in future shipments.