NFIB Among Those Opposed To City-Owned Gas Station In Kentucky

Date: August 20, 2014

Related Content: Analysis State National

The Kentucky office of NFIB has come out in opposition to the establishment of a gas station by the city of Somerset, Kentucky

The Kentucky office of the National Federation
of Independent Business has come out in opposition to the establishment of a
gas station by the city of Somerset, Kentucky that sells regular gas for
substantially less than the state average because it does not need to make a
profit. Last week, NFIB Kentucky’s Tom Underwood was quoted as saying, “Our
members are really getting up in arms about this, and we’ll be approaching the
Kentucky General Assembly to see if we can find relief there.”

Reports on the
apparently unprecedented project in Somerset have tended to focus on residents
who say they are pleased to save money, but the AP reported that Duane Adams, who
owns a gas station on Somerset, points out the drawbacks of governmental
intrusion in the marketplace. Adams said, “They’ve used the taxpayer money that
I have paid them over these years to do this, to be against us. I do not see
how they can’t see that as socialism.” Likewise, Kentucky state Sen. Chris
Girdler (R) calls the nonprofit municipal gas station “nothing but a socialist
movement.” Girdler expanded on his case against the Somerset municipal gas
station in an op-ed for the Lexington
(KY) Herald-Leader.

Brian Clark,
executive director of the Kentucky Petroleum Marketers Association, in an
interview with ABC News, said, “The city will be competing
directly with small businesses directly in the community, which raises many
questions, not the least of which is: why is this a good idea?” Clark added,
“It’s scary for us who depend on local businesses for their jobs, especially
because the government says it intends to interfere with the free market.”

Further Reading: NPR had an update on the controversy
in Somerset last week.

Related Content: Analysis | State | National

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