Buc-ee’s facing lawsuit over gas prices

Staff report
Posted 2/7/19

LOXLEY, Alabama — When Buc-ee’s opened the doors of its Baldwin Beach Express location on Jan. 21 one of the Texas-based company’s selling points is that it offered high quality gas at low …

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Buc-ee’s facing lawsuit over gas prices

Posted

LOXLEY, Alabama — When Buc-ee’s opened the doors of its Baldwin Beach Express location on Jan. 21 one of the Texas-based company’s selling points is that it offered high quality gas at low prizes.

Now one local competitor is saying that prices offered by the super convenience store and gas station are so low they are criminal, literally.

A lawsuit filed in federal court by Montgomery-based attorney H. Dean Mooty on behalf of the Oasis Travel Center, located at the Wilcox Road exit of I-10, just four miles up the road, states that Buc-ee’s violated the Alabama Motor Fuel Marketing Act by selling gas for less than it costs to buy and transport to the retail outlet.

Buc-ee’s violated the law by offering gas when they first opened at under $1.80 per gallon, when the average cost of fuel was closer to $1.90 per gallon, the lawsuit contends.

The cost for a gallon of regular gasoline had risen to $1.899 on Thursday, Feb. 6, the same price as at least four other stations in the Loxley area, Raceway on North Hickory Street just south of Interstate 10, the Shell and BP stations on the corner of Hickory Street and County Road 64, and the Exxon station at the corner of South Hickory Street and County Road 55. The Exxon on North Hickory Street at I-10 offered regular gasoline at $1.909 per gallon, while Love’s Truck Stop was at $1.999 and the Oasis was at $2.129 per gallon.

According to published reports, Alabama is one of a few states with a law that limits how low a retailer can drop its pump prices. There is no such law in Texas.

In a statement provided to the media, Jeff Nadalo, an attorney with Buc-ee’s, said the company was aware of the Alabama law.

“Buc-ee’s has always provided our customers with the best experience on the highway, from the world’s cleanest bathrooms, to great food,” according to the statement. “Part of this experience includes high quality fuels, priced fairly and competitively, and we will always strive to be our customers’ choice in the markets where we operate.”

Buc-ee’s and the town of Loxley have also been under fire for a tax incentive package that was passed by the town council at its regular meeting on Jan. 14, which was contingent upon the town annexing Buc-ee’s into its corporate limits, enacted during a special meeting on Jan. 28.

Concerns were also expressed by several members of the Rosinton Community, including concerns over who would answer fire department calls in the area.