Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and attorneys for Marathon Oil faced off in Franklin Circuit Court this morning. Conway accuses Marathon of gasoline price gouging during a state of emergency.
Attorney Sheryl Snyder, who represents Marathon, says the case appears to have more to do with price control than price gouging. “They’re not even alleging that their claim for relief has anything to do with the flooding, or anything to do with the emergency. They’ve predicated their claim totally on the argument that we’re following the spot market.”
Nothing was resolved at a hearing on Kentucky’s price gouging allegation against Marathon Oil. Judicial and expert witness conflicts required the matter to be moved to Thursday. Attorney Sheryl Snyder, who represents Marathon, says there’s no need for a restraining order on gas prices anyway.
“There is no emergency here. Their expert witness’ affidavit stops at Wednesday.” Snyder says “The prices already started falling on Thursday and today the prices are below the prices they want us to impose. So, if you granted their order, you would actually be increasing our prices.”
The state says Marathon has illegally been jacking up gas prices during a state of emergency tied to recent flooding. The company denies it. Four years ago, the state sued Marathon for allegedly doing the same thing in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. That case is still being argued.
But Snyder says even though Conway has no primary opposition for re-election, this case is all about politics.
“It’s common knowledge that one without opposition gets on the news on election day,” Snyder says “particularly if you can create political theatre, which Jack has done.”
But Attrorney General Conway responded saying, “If doing my job as attorney general and standing up for the consumers of Kentucky when they may be paying too much at the pump is political, call me that every day of the week, and twice on Sunday.”