Wednesday January 23, 2013

MONTPELIER (AP) -- The months-long battle between Sen. Bernie Sanders and gas dealer Skip Vallee over gasoline prices in northwestern Vermont has come to the Statehouse in Montpelier.

Three House committees on Tuesday heard from those two, Attorney General William Sorrell and others on a question lawmakers say they’re hearing from voters every day: Why are gas prices in Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle counties higher than elsewhere in Vermont as well as most other places in the country?

Sanders says the problem is too much concentration in ownership of gas stations in northwestern Vermont and not enough competition.

Vallee tells lawmakers he has higher labor, health care, insurance and utility costs, among others.

House Transportation Committee Chairman Pat Brennan says he has no specific legislation in mind yet, but wanted information.