As diesel fuel prices hit record high levels, state officials say that they are on the lookout for evidence of price gouging.
Following news from the White House that the U.S. will ban the import of Russian oil due to the invasion of Ukraine, fuel prices have shot up across the country. According to AAA, the average cost of a gallon of diesel on Thursday in the U.S. is $5.058.
As the trucking industry staggers under the new pain at the pump, some state officials are warning retailers and consumers about the possibility of fuel price gouging, which means a dramatic price increase caused by an actual or perceived emergency.
In Massachusetts, State Attorney General Maura Healey is on the lookout for evidence of price gouging after receiving multiple complaints from consumers, according to a report from the Boston Globe.
Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin has also called for Healey to investigate possible price gouging. Galvin says he has no evidence to show that fuel retailers are unfairly increasing prices, but told WHDH that the speed at which fuel costs are increasing is suspicious. “What has changed in 24 hours, in some cases the same day? Prices went up in the same location. I’m not advocating for price control, what I am advocating for is price scrutiny,” Galvin said.
Galvin has also pointed to the vast difference in prices between gas stations as possible evidence of price gouging.
In New York, State Attorney General Letitia James issued a statement warning that “price gouging will not be tolerated.”
“President Biden is taking critical and necessary action to hold Russia accountable for this unprovoked invasion that has claimed thousands of Ukrainian lives,” said James. “This newest round of sanctions could impact New Yorkers, so we are reminding companies that price gouging is illegal and ensuring that consumers take precautions to protect themselves and their wallets. Anyone who has experienced issues relating the price gouging of fuel should contact my office, and we will continue to do everything in our power to protect consumers.”
How To Report Price Gouging
Consumers who wish to report price gouging should contact their state’s Attorney General. For best results, include specific increased prices, the dates, and places, and the types of fuel being sold. Consumers may also provide copies of their sales receipts and photos of the advertised prices, if available.
See online report forms for each state below.
Hawaii email [email protected]
Mississippi Phone Number 601-359-3680
New Hampshire requires registration https://www.doj.nh.gov/consumer/complaints/index.htm
New Mexico https://secure.nmag.gov/ecs
North Carolina https://ncdoj.gov/file-a-complaint/consumer-complaint/
Oklahoma Phone Number (405) 521-2029
Rhode Island https://riag.wufoo.com/forms/q1851amb1bdd4d5/
South Carolina requires registration https://applications.sc.gov/DCAComplaintSystem/Login/ConsumerLogin.aspx
South Dakota https://atg.sd.gov/complaintform.aspx
Tennessee requires registration https://www.tn.gov/attorneygeneral/working-for-tennessee/consumer/file-a-complaint.html
West Virginia https://ago.wv.gov/Pages/consumercomplaint.aspx