Legislators from wealthy Fairfield County, Connecticut hope a zone pricing ban will save constituents money

Michael Giberson

From the website of Livvy Floren, Greenwich state representative and Assistant Republican Leader in the Connecticut House of Representatives, “Greenwich Delegation Calls for Ban on Zone Pricing of Gas“:

HARTFORD- Greenwich State Reps. Livvy Floren (R-149), Lile Gibbons (R-150) and Fred Camillo (R-151) are dismayed the state legislature refuses to address the issue of gasoline zone pricing which forces Greenwich to pay the highest gas prices in Connecticut.

“Zone pricing comes down to equity across the state. Once the gas is in the pipe, prices should be equal since there is no marginal or incremental delivery cost. That is all we are asking for with this ban,” said Rep. Floren….

Rep. Fred Camillo who is a freshman legislator from Cos Cob said he wonders why the legislature refuses to debate this bill. “It’s an issue of fairness, Fairfield County legislators, both Republican and Democrat, stand united against this un-American practice. Our local businesses bear the tough burden of selling the most expensive gas in the state with out any choice and it hurts their bottom line selling other products as drivers gas up out of town.”

An “un-American practice”? What is un-American about allowing private companies to set their own prices?

In any case, if I were a legislator from elsewhere in the state, I’d be leery about a bill that likely tend to raise average gasoline prices in my district.

(At least that is the implication of this economic study of a related proposal in California, conducted by Michael Keeley and Kenneth Elzinga. Other analyses have tended to find the effects of a zone pricing ban to be either harmful or at best ambiguous.  See related posts and especially this one at Knowledge Problem for discussion.

Do you know of zone pricing analyses not yet mentioned in these posts? Let me know in the comments.)

Meanwhile, in neighboring New York, a newspaper story from suburban Rochester suggests that the state’s new zone pricing ban is helping to equalize prices between formerly high priced and formerly low priced stations. (The story doesn’t report whether prices have been equalized mostly or entirely by reductions in prices in the formerly high-priced areas or by increases in prices in formerly low priced areas.)


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