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Buc-ee’s pricing dispute places Alabama fuel law in spotlight | al.com

Buc-ee’s arrival into Alabama has been met with enthusiastic crowds and a welcome mat from politicians.

But 11 days after the Texas-based company opened its first non-Texas travel station, another greeting surfaced: A federal lawsuit from the Oasis Travel Station located a mere 4 miles east on Interstate 10.

Other small-sized retailers are now equally as worried about Buc-ee’s fuel-pricing strategies. They believe the company, with its innocent-looking beaver logo, wants to sink its buckteeth into the coastal Alabama fuel market, driving away the homegrown competition.

“When they first opened, they came in 12 to 15 cents under costs,” said Paul Moore, who operates eight convenient stores in Baldwin County and has been in the business for 37 years. “That really pissed us off.”

Spotlight

The lawsuit has placed the 35-year-old “Alabama Motor Fuel Marketing Act” in the spotlight, a rarity for a law that has mostly avoided the media glare in recent times.

The law was enacted during the final years of George Wallace’s tenure as governor and was backed by Democrats – some who would later become Republicans – as a way to protect locally owned convenience stores and independent gas stations from predatory pricing.

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Buc-ee’s pricing dispute places Alabama fuel law in spotlight | al.com.