BOISE, Idaho — After an investigation into three Idaho gas retailer's fuel prices, Idaho Attorney General announced a settlement agreement has been reached. The investigation was done during Idaho's COVID-19 related state of emergency declared back in March.
According to a news release from the AG's office, the agreement addresses concerns raised by the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division. The settlement includes $1.5 million given in sales credits, which will be provided in 2021.
“I am pleased that we were able to address my office’s concerns and reach agreement on this matter, and in doing so, provide Idaho consumers with meaningful redress,” Wasden said. “The parties spent significant time analyzing, reviewing and negotiating. I want to commend the retailers for their willingness to be part of this solution.”
In March, federal and state emergency orders applied the Idaho law governing the sale of food, water, fuel and pharmaceuticals during emergency declarations. According to the news release, the statute prohibits selling those items at excessive prices while the declaration is in place.
The release says Maverik and Jacksons Food Stores will each provide $600,000 in credits and Stinker Stores will give $300,000. Wasden says as part of the settlement, none of the retailers admit to any wrongdoing.
"Under the agreement, each company will earn credits by selling fuel at a price at which it can earn credits when the margin between the gas retailer’s retail price and the wholesale price for its product is less than the existing average margin of the states surrounding Idaho," stated in the news release. "For example, if the average margin in a given month between the retail and wholesale prices in the states surrounding Idaho is $.25 per gallon, and one of the retailers sells a consumer ten gallons of gas at a price with a margin that is $.15 per gallon, the retailer would earn a credit of $1 towards their redress obligation ($.10 x 10 gallons = $1.00)."
The news release says the companies will one year to complete the credit obligations, starting in January 2021. To read the full agreement, click here.
The following is a joint statement issued on behalf of Jacksons, Maverik and Stinker Stores:
Though we are typically competitors, all three of us are united in our motivation to help the communities we serve, especially during the hardships many of our neighbors are facing.
That is why, even as we disagree with the premise of the Office of the Attorney General’s inquiry, we cannot ignore the community benefit our agreement will create. It provides us with another opportunity to offer consumers a break at Idaho fuel pumps just when they need one. We are happy to do our part to make it happen.
The hundreds of convenience stores and gas stations in Idaho are a reliable source of employment for thousands of people. The industry has been a crucial, consistent provider of food, fuel and supplies for frontline workers and other customers during times of emergency. It is fitting that we would once again step up to voluntarily provide this kind of relief to all consumers.