CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Sen. Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson, introduced a bill earlier this session that would repeal a law that's been on the books since 1939.
Senate Bill 8 would prohibit the zone pricing of gasoline -- the setting of different prices for retail gasoline at stations that operate in different geographic areas. According to the 1939 law, retailers must charge 7 percent above wholesale price. Snyder said that makes it hard for smaller businesses to compete.
"They have to compete," Snyder said. "This law doesn't allow them to compete in the open market. They must charge a certain price."
Snyder said gas wholesalers in the 1980s manipulated gas prices "in the wrong direction."
"We all pay the price for that," Snyder said. "Our citizens for about 25 years have paid the price for that. It's time to go. This is a general law we should all be concerned about."
Snyder questioned the legality of store loyalty cards, such as the popular Kroger card that allows customers to earn points by buying groceries and redeeming those points for cheaper gasoline.
"It's probably illegal (under the 1939 law) because it's advertising something and giving discounts that only their customers can get," Snyder said. "You have to buy Kroger products to get that discount. I want to get rid of the law and repeal that law."
The bill is currently before the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.