A group of 50 Lukoil gas station owners in New Jersey raised the cost of a gallon of gas to $8 on Wednesday to protest what they claim are unfair pricing practices by Lukoil North America. Store owners allegedly hope the vast increases at the pump will raise consumer awareness about the challenges the fuel dealers are facing, according to The Blaze.
Garden State gasoline station owners reportedly feel the gas supplier has placed them at a distinct competitive disadvantage, NJ.Com reports. The fuel retailers claim they typically pay between 5 to 20 cents more a gallon than competing businesses.
New Jersey Gasoline, Convenience, Automotive Association Executive Director Sal Risalvato had this to say about the $8 per gallon increase:
“We were all at a breaking point. They essentially sell the very same gasoline to stations in close proximity of each other at different prices in order to game the market and compete with other gasoline brands. In doing so, the price may differ by as much as 25 cents a gallon, and place the retailer and the retailer’s customers at an enormous disadvantage over another station. No matter what the market conditions are on a particular day, Lukoil’s prices are higher than just about every retail competitor We’re raising prices to an offensive level as a way of protesting.”
The business owners maintain that supplier pricing policies have caused them to lose approximately 50 percent of their customer base or close up shop altogether.
For now, only New Jersey residents will see signs boasting the $8 a gallon fuel cost, but Risalvato maintains that convenience store owners in Pennsylvania have also expressed interest in joining the movement. The shocking figure is scheduled to be active for approximately the next 24 hours. So far, the Russian oil company with corporate office in New York City has not commented on the protest.