Maryland law prevents Sheetz cheap gas promotion

Sheetz announced its selling Unleaded 88 gas for $1.99 per gallon ahead of holiday travel season. Maryland drivers won’t see that discount. Here’s why.

MARYLAND, USA — Convenience chain Sheetz is running a sale on some of its gas. Unleaded 88 gas is selling for $1.99 per gallon, according to the company. But we came across a claim saying it would be illegal for Sheetz to sell gas that low in Maryland. Is that true?

THE QUESTION:

Does a state law prevent Maryland Sheetz from selling gas for $1.99?

THE SOURCES:

THE ANSWER:

Yes, Sheetz was prevented from offering its $1.99 gas deal to drivers in Maryland because of a state law.

WHAT WE FOUND:

Let’s start with the law. It reads, outside of a few exceptions, “a retail service station dealer may not sell motor fuel below cost.”

Under the law, the comptroller is in charge of enforcement. We reached out to their office.

A spokesperson for the comptroller told us that “below cost” typically means selling gas for less than what the station paid for it. They also confirmed that no one has formally complained against Sheetz and the law is in effect.

Finally a spokesperson for Sheetz that selling Unleaded 88 gas for $1.99 was not possible in Maryland.

“Maryland law prohibits selling fuel below cost. As a result, Sheetz discounted the sale of Unleaded 88 as low as possible. We could not offer the $1.99/gallon price in Maryland to stay within the confines of the law,” the spokesperson said in the email.

While it’s not $1.99, the price of gas is going down at Sheetz in Maryland. A press release said Sheetz has reduced the price of Unleaded 88 gas to $3.33 and lower. Some stations will be offering it for as low as $3.08.

So we can Verify: Sheetz was prevented form offering its $1.99 deal in Maryland because of state law.

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