Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gas Prices: Gouging in Hurricane's Wake?

In Georgia as in many parts of the country people saw a run on prices for gasoline. In turn, many of us (including yours truly) were angered by what seemed to be gouging at the pumps. It's not just me; even a County Sheriff thinks so.

In Florida:

Florida’s agriculture and consumer services commissioner said Monday that he is issuing subpoenas for financial information from 16 major oil terminals in Florida. The subpoenas, which were being hand-delivered to the terminals on Tuesday, seek records to determine whether any of them illegally increased the wholesale prices that were passed on to retail gas stations and, ultimately, customers. Link.

In Georgia, will a GOP Governor take any action? From a TV station's website:

"The [Georgia] Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs reported they have had 140 official complaints about price gouging of gasoline, and 48 businesses have been put on notice that they will be investigated.

The GOCA is are faxing out these warnings of Georgia law to businesses.

In my neighborhood, 1 station went from $3.69 to $4.29 in five hours. In another Atlanta suburb station, the price jumped to nearly $6. No, that's not gouging is it.

Officials say their phones have been busy all day taking complaints, but they are urging Georgians who think they have been the victim of price gouging to report violators. Dougherty County's Sheriff thinks price gouging has happened, and his deputies are keeping records."

Note to the Georgia Governor: We're watching. Florida will punish those who clearly gouged --- will Georgia hold those who did accountable?