This Explains a Lot

We drove through Maryland recently, quite recently, and when I saw this article this morning I thought it explained a lot:

A gasoline price war erupted in St. Mary’s County last week after one station slashed its price for regular to $1.999 a gallon and spurred three others to follow suit, giving drivers some hope of relief at the pump.

But the price dip proved fleeting.

Maryland regulators quickly stepped in and told the stations that their prices were too low. They needed to go up by 5 cents.

[ ]
The sudden fluctuation in the Lexington Park area was the result of a little-noticed Maryland law that took effect in 2001. The General Assembly mandated that stations cannot charge less than what they pay for gas — unless they’re lowering prices to compete with a nearby station.

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