WBGO, the Newark-based jazz public radio station, has a report about the New Jersey Senate considering a bil that "would allow retailers to sell premium gas at the price of regular if they run short of fuel during emergencies."
Why not let retailers sell gas at whatever price they want even if it isn't an emergency?
It's almost comical, the way that the Garden State allows market-based pricing mechanism to operate only in cases of emergency. In normal conditions, the government tells the retailers how much they have to charge.
Naturally, the regulated businesses in some cases like the regulation because it protects them from competition. The WBGO dispatch quotes the executive director of the New Jersey Gasoline and Automotive Association, Sal Risalvato, declaring the legislation unnecessary because, as the article paraphrases him, "most retailers would not hurt their profits by selling premium at regular prices."
The most important word in that explanation is "most." If one or two retailers did choose to discount premium gas by selling it at regular prices, they might attract more customers. Those customers would benefit. Alas the gasoline customers don't have an association with an executive director, or, if they do, he or she is not quoted in the article.