One week after approving the event and less than 24 hours after allowing promotional banners to be hung on its property, Capitol Petroleum Group canceled plans by the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) to offer Washington-area residents a discount of 54 cents per gallon on gasoline purchased at two Exxon stations on Capitol Hill. A company representative, citing unspecified “political” reasons, abruptly ended UNICA’s plans to help DC drivers keep a little extra money in their pockets for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.
“Open market competition and free speech are two fundamental principles that have made the United States a global leader,” observed Joel Velasco, UNICA’s chief representative in North America. “It’s a shame that those values don’t seem to apply in this situation.”
The promotion was being sponsored by UNICA to highlight the current 54-cent-per-gallon tariff on imported ethanol and educated drivers about the benefits of sugarcane ethanol.