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BP seeks to appeal Mulberry, Kansas lawsuit over gas price hike

CRAWFORD COUNTY, Kan. — Energy giant BP wants to appeal a decision that allowed a Mulberry, Kansas lawsuit to proceed. The town and residents claim BP’s price hikes during a deep freeze in February 2021 were price-gouging.

BP, formerly known as British Petroleum, filed two documents last week. It indicates BP wants to shut down a lawsuit filed by Mulberry, Kansas in Crawford County.

One document seeks permission to appeal a Feb. 8 ruling by Chief District Judge Lori A. Bolton Fleming. BP wants this done before the case goes to trial.

In that ruling, Fleming removed the Mulberry city government from the lawsuit but allowed individual residents to proceed with the action.

The second court document outlines BP’s belief that it cannot be sued by the residents because they don’t buy their gas directly from BP.

The lawsuit is seen as a potential test case to determine if other Kansans will have to pay millions of dollars in extra natural gas costs from the 2021 freeze.

Mulberry’s gas cost on Feb. 9, 2021, was $2.98 per million British Thermal Units. The price rose to $329.60 per million BTU from Feb. 13 to Feb. 16, when the city stopped buying gas. On Feb. 17, the price hit $622.79.

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