I can't believe they are actually going to do something about it or at least they are acting like they are.
~This the article in the Valdosta Daily Times today~
Five Lowndes County gas stations were named among 166 in the state that have been asked to turn over sales records to determine whether they inflated gas prices following hurricane damage to Gulf Coast oil refineries.
According to the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs (GOCA), the state has subpoenaed records from stores as a result of more than 1,500 complaints from customers who reported gas gouging after Gov. Sonny Perdue declared a state of emergency Sept. 12. GOCA spokesperson Kathy Mendelson said that the reported gas prices around the state were as high as $8.39 per gallon.
Other area service stations under investigation include three in Lanier County, one in Brooks County and one in Berrien County.
“The results of the investigations will be based on the documents that are returned,” Mendelson said. “The stations are being asked for the prices they charged on given dates and what they were charged by their supplier. If there is sufficient evidence of gouging, they are potentially subject to fines of $2,000 to $25,000 per violation, as well as restitution to customers who were victims of price gouging.”
The names of the 166 gas stations will not be released until the investigation is complete. The investigation is expected to take several months.
According to the declared state of emergency, “businesses may not sell any goods or services necessary to protect the health, safety or property of citizens at prices higher than the prices at which those same goods or services were offered before the declaration of a state of emergency. The only exception allowed is if the business can document that the price was increased only in an amount which accurately reflects an increase in the cost of the goods or services to the person selling the goods or services or an increase in the cost of transporting the goods or service into the area. Price increases are not allowed on stock that was on hand before the emergency was declared.”
The declaration added that proof of the reason for any price increase must be readily available when the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs requests it.
Perdue renewed the state of emergency Friday, Oct. 10. It will stay in effect for another 30 days, if necessary.