Lawmaker Didn't Mean to Bar Free Coffee, Discounted Turkeys

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Denver (AP) The lawmaker who fought to exempt rural areas from cut-rate gasoline promotions says the amendment went too far.

Under the change made Wednesday, retailers on the populous front range would be able to sell gas below cost but those in the state's 55 smaller counties would not. Opponents of the change, including Attorney General John Suthers, say the amendment will prevent stores from offering rural residents everything from free cups of coffee to discounted Thanksgiving turkeys.

Senator Jim Isgar, D- Hesperus, says he only wanted to exempt rural areas from the gas promotions, not everything else. He says the issue can still be worked out in the House or in a conference committee with members from the House or Senate.

While large retailers compete with each other on the front range, Isgar says usually smaller cities and towns only have one large store offering discounted gas. He says that could drive independent gas stations out of businesses, wiping out competition.

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