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New mega-store Buc-ee's sued over cheap gas prices

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(image: WPMI) New mega-store, Buc-ee's, sued over gas prices

BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WPMI) - There’s a gas station showdown in Baldwin County.

The Oasis travel center on I-10 claims the new Buc-ee's has gas prices so low that they're illegal. A judge is going to have to settle this lawsuit.

Buc-ee's has only been open about two weeks and drivers we talked to have already noticed gas here is much cheaper than at the next exit.

For Buc-ee's it's about selling gas for less and drawing customers inside. The Oasis Travel Center sued in federal court claiming Buc-ee's gas prices violate the Alabama Motor Fuel Marketing Act.

The lawsuit claims when Buc-ee's opened two weeks ago it priced gas at $1.79 a gallon but it paid $1.90 wholesale. If true, that's illegal in Alabama.

Today Buc-ee's gas was 23-cents-per-gallon cheaper than Oasis. Drivers at Buc-ee's weren't complaining.

"Good for them. I say, hey, you know, it’s a free market, and if they can make money selling it for what they sell it at, then sell it. I hate it for Oasis. I used to stop there now I stop here," said Bill Hillard.

"As far as fuel, I’ll stop here. It's too hard to come by,” said Joe Robinson.

The Oasis wants a judge to stop Buc-ee's from selling gas below $2 right now, or below wholesale cost in the future.

“If they can set the price at whatever price they want, then there will be a point in time where you won’t have competition and then the consuming public will be paying whatever price those limited “big boys” are dictating,” said Oasis attorney Dean Mooty.

Today gasoline at Buc-ee’s was selling for $1.89 a gallon - 23 cents cheaper than at the Oasis. Other gasoline stations in the Loxley area were selling at $1.89 as well.

Buc-ee's issued the following statement:

Buc-ee’s has always provided our customers with the best experience on the highway, from the world’s cleanest bathrooms, to great food.” - “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.

No word yet on any action from Federal Court.