May 13, 2011 / 7:47 PM / in 8 years

Kentucky sues Marathon for price gouging during flood

* State also alleges price spikes for other fuels

* Marathon declines comment

NEW YORK, May 13 (Reuters) - Kentucky has sued Marathon Oil Corp (MRO.N) for price gouging on gasoline and other motor fuels across the state during the recent flooding along the Mississippi River.

“Gas prices jumped 30 cents overnight,” said state Attorney General Jack Conway.

The state attorney general’s office filed for a temporary injunction in the Franklin Circuit Court on Friday against Marathon Petroleum Company LLC, which operates Marathon Oil’s refining, marketing and transportation operations.

Marathon declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Conway said his office does not believe the supplying costs Marathon may have incurred during the flooding justify the surge in pump prices.

The motion alleges Marathon violated Kentucky’s price-gouging statute that was triggered when the state governor declared a state of emergency on April 26.

The lawsuit comes after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder directed a task force to look into whether gasoline prices were falling in the wake of the drop in the cost of oil last week. (Reporting by Selam Gebrekidan; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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