Commonwealth Journal

Local News

February 26, 2013

Citizens’ group trying to lower local gas prices

Somerset —  

A citizens’ group is taking things into its own hands in an effort to get to the bottom of what many are calling unfair gas price practices in Pulaski County. 
“There’s a community effort related to ... trying to find some answers (to high gas prices),” said Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler during Monday’s Somerset City Council meeting. “(They’re) trying to put some public pressure on getting our gas prices lowered.”
Mickey Williams, a representative of the Citizens United Advocacy Group, gave a few statements to city officials during the meeting.
“Right now, there’s people in this county who are getting bullied ... by these gas companies,” Williams said. “I know the answer (to the gas price problem), you all know the answer ... there’s no secret, but we’re not doing anything,”
Williams’ appearance Monday comes at the tail end of months and months of calls from city councilors asking that some answer be found as to why Somerset’s gas prices appear to be higher than in surrounding counties. 
Councilor John Ricky Minton has been one of the most vocal of the councilors in the gas price issue. In the Feb. 11 council meeting, he again expressed frustration that no answers had been found. 
“Are we going to do anything or are we going to sit here? ... I think it’s our job to speak up,” Minton said. “I think it’s time. I’ve brought it up for the last two years.”
City of Somerset Attorney Carrie Wiese told Minton and the other councilors during the Feb. 11 meeting that the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office will not investigate because price gouging can only be investigated when a natural disaster occurs. Only then can the attorney general’s office step in, as per state law. The Commonwealth Journal has received similar responses from the attorney general’s office in the past. 

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