The Washington Post listed Locklair Gulf in Brentwood, Md., as one of 160 service stations forced by the U.S. Department of Energy to roll back prices because they were in excess of what is allowed by federal regulations. That station no longer belongs to the owner who DOE said was charging too much, but is now called Fabritz Gulf and is owned by Robert E. Fabritz.
The U.S. Department of Energy announced yesterday it has forced 160 Maryland service stations to roll back prices because they were in excess of what is allowed by federal regulations.
The overcharges ranged from less than a penny to as much as 11 cents, according to DOE.
The agency's federal enforcement branch also sent letters to 200 other Maryland stations alleging that they had overpriced gasoline by very small amounts, usually just tenths of a cent, but still violations.
The department ordered the 160 stations to roll back their prices until a total of $50,000 has been refunded to the general public through lower-than-normal gasoline prices. Then the stations will be allowed to raise their prices to the legal maximums, if the dealers wish.
At the same time, fines totaling $25,000 were levied against some of the offending dealers. The fines are civil penalties, not criminal.
Under present federal law, most service stations can only charge 16.1 cents more for a gallon gasoline than the wholesale price paid for it.
The average price for a gallon of gasoline at the pump in the Washington area is now about $1.30.
The DOE enforcement action in Maryland followed allegations by the Maryland comptroller's office that 550 stations in the state were overpricing. mThe agency found that about 150 of these were not overpricing. Some of the 550 stations remain to be audited by the DOE.
The 160 dealers signed "consent orders" agreeing to pay civil penalties and roll back prices, even though the orders are not formal charges of violation by DOE and signing one does not constitute an admission of guilt by a dealer.
Here is a list of Washington area dealers who signed such orders: Montgomery County
Old Georgetown Auto Center Inc., Bethesda; Sullivan's Bethesda Mobil, Bethesda; Luksenburg Service Center, Silver Spring; G & WCA Texaco, Silver Spring; Lansing's Gulf, Silver Spring; Poolesville Motor Co., Poolesville; Bonfield's Garage, Bon Air Heights; Westbard citgo, Bethesda.
Wheaton Mobile Service Center, Wheaton; Aspen Hill Chevron, Silver Spring; White Flint Exxon, Rockville; Raley's Sunoco, Silver Spring; Ed's Citgo Service, Silver Spring. Prince George's County
St. Barnabas Exxon, Oxon Hill; Parkland Service Center, Temple Hills; Riverdale Mobil, Riverdale; Anderson Knight Exxon, Tuxedo; Jack's Exxon, Bowle; Ellis Exxon, Suitland; Aquasco Hardware & Supply, Aquasco; Freddies Auto, Accokeek; Dingness Delicatessen, Friendly; Cornwell Corp., Exxon, Upper Marlboro.
Johnny's Discount Gas, Mount Rainier; Dyna-Motion Tune-up Center Chevron, Suitland; Wheeler Road Exxon, Oxon Hill; Oxon Hill Exxon, Oxon Hill; Dyson General Store, Brandywine; Tom's Cheltenham Sunoco, Cheltenham; Lanham BP Scot, Landover Hill; Naylor Road Shell Service, Silver Spring.
Adelphi Mobil Service, Adelphi; Balzers Sunoco, Hyattsville; Edgewood Exxon, College Park; Seabrook Exxon Service Center, Seabrook; LB & W Tire & Auto Service, Oxon Hill; Capital Plaza Texaco, Landover Hills; Beltsville Exxon Service, Beltsville; Boteler & Son, Beltsville; Locklair Gulf, Brentwood; Kaywood Exxon, Mount Rainier; Fort Washington Shell, Oxon Hill.