(Annapolis, MD) Today in Annapolis, members of the House Economic Matters Committee voted to kill House Bill 127, which would have provided for true competition in gasoline pricing in Maryland. According to John Berthoud, Ph.D., President of the National Taxpayers Union, "Delegate Miller's bill would remove the price floor for retail sales of gasoline." In testimony before the Committee, Berthoud further stated, "in 2001 the Legislature enacted a law to prohibit retailers from selling gas below a statewide average 'wholesale price.' Maryland's Comptroller is charged with investigating alleged violators (i.e., retailers whose prices are 'too low') and can punish them by revoking their registration."
Delegate Warren Miller, the bill's sponsor, stated, "It's unfortunate that the committee chose to protect Exxon and BP franchisees instead of Maryland consumers of gasoline." Joining Delegate Miller in support of the bill were Delegates Joanne Parrott of Harford County and Rick Impallaria of Baltimore and Harford Counties.
Favorable: Miller, Impallaria, Parrott
Unfavorable: Burns, Conroy, Doory, Feldman, Haddaway, Jameson, Kirk, Krebs, Krysiak, Love, McHale, Minnick, Moe, Trueschler, Vaughn
Absent: Walkup, Wood
Excused: Harrison, Taylor
Chairman Davis was present but did not vote.
House Bill 127: http://mlis.state.md.us/2006rs/billfile/hb0127.htm
Statement of John Berthoud, Ph.D., President of the National Taxpayers Union, before the Economic Matters Committee Maryland House of Delegates, Annapolis, Maryland on HB 127, Business Regulation Motor Fuel Below Cost Sales: http://www.ntu.org/main/testimonies_detail.php?testimony_id=34