Mom and Pops Fight Wal-Mart Pumps

By: Valerie Lacy
By: Valerie Lacy

These people mean business. They're locked in a battle with one of the biggest corporations ever and they're afraid they may lose.

Murphy Oil, which operates gas stations at Wal-Mart stores across the country, is pushing the Florida Legislature to repeal a prohibition of predatory pricing.

Small business owners say the law is their last safety net.

Jim Pafford, the manager of Pure on Mahan, says, "It definitely has a huge impact on the market and as a small retailer we have a difficult time competing with that type of pricing."

Pafford says Wal-Mart stations are selling gas to customers at the rate he is buying it. He's worried another drop could edge him out of business. Still, Murphy Oil says it will continue to save customers at the pump, allowing the market to decide.

Steve Metz, Murphy Oil spokesman, says, "All of the studies that have been done over the last two years indicate around two or three cents a gallon."

But the battle for your tax dollars is moving away from the pumps and to the House floor where ultimately the Legislature will have the final say. Bills to repeal the predatory pricing law are moving through the House and the Senate.


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