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    Supreme Court To Review Hawaii Gasoline Case

    State imposed rent caps on dealer-run stations to keep fuel affordable.

    WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court will decide whether Hawaii crossed the line to keep gasoline affordable for residents when it imposed rent caps on dealer-run stations, reported the Associated Press.

    Lower courts said the 1997 law, intended to protect independent dealers and promote competition, was unconstitutional. The case to be argued early next year will set guidelines for other states.

    Nineteen states and many city and legislative leaders had urged the Supreme Court to hear Hawaii's appeal, arguing that their own regulations of various types could be affected.

    Chevron USA filed a challenge to the law, which restricted lease prices that oil companies could charge their dealer-owned stations and barred the companies from taking over those stations.

    The company won, on grounds that the law was an unconstitutional taking of its property.

    In the appeal, Hawaii argues that such economic regulations are not property takings and that judges should consider states' authority to determine policy.

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