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Somerset, Kentucky Gas Station the Nation’s First to Be City-Owned

Steve Hix/Somos Images/Corbis/Thinkstock

I recently ranted about the enormous difference between the extremely high gas prices in Owensboro and points south, like Nashville and vicinity.

I was referring to gas prices immediately north of Music City that were somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 cents cheaper than they were in Owensboro.

Well, the prices here have dropped since that time, but that probably also they’ve dropped proportionately there, too. Gas prices, historically, are always cheaper the farther south you go.

Now, if you head east across the Cumberland Parkway (if that’s what they’re still calling it) and land in Somerset, Kentucky, you might come across a gas station that exists as a result of that city being fed up with exorbitant costs at the pump. It’s unusual because it undercuts other gas stations in the area by about 3 cents. (Frankly, I have to wonder why it couldn’t be more.)

But the station–which gets its fuel supply from Continental Refining Co.–is notable because it is this country’s only city-owned gas station.

And it is causing quite a stir.

Local merchants are saying that it’s cutting into their business. While competition is healthy, this stings a bit more because this new station is city-owned, which means it’s run by local government.

The Kentucky Petroleum Marketers Association is also displeased with this development and urges other cities not to follow suit.

Whether or not Somerset can maintain this gas station–which is not accompanied by a convenience store, like most are–remains to be seen.

And maybe it is just an experiment, something to draw people’s attention to an issue that really does affect us all.



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