With gasoline prices averaging $2.20 a gallon in Maryland, drivers in St. Mary's County commended one gas station for dropping its price to $1.999 a gallon. Three other stations quickly followed suit, but state regulators stepped in almost as fast, forcing the stations to raise their price to $2.049 a gallon, after a competing station complained about the low prices. State law bans stations from selling gasoline for less than they paid. One station said it was selling above cost, but it couldn't produce proof of its costs, so regulators used the average wholesale price to determine what it should be charging. Since Maryland passed its minimum-price law in 2001, officials have confirmed 31 cases in which stations have charged customers too little. They say they've never had to issue citations because the stations have agreed to charge more.
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