Attorney General Cooper Subpoenas Wholesaler, Gas Station for Price Gouging

NC's anti-price Gouging law was triggered due to a gas pipline leak in alabama

Gas Tank On Empty / Attorney General Cooper Subpoenas Wholesaler, Gas Station for Price Gouging
Image: NCCC
September 20, 2016

Attorney General Roy Cooper issued subpoenas on Monday, September 19, 2016 to a gas station and a gas wholesaler that allegedly price gouged consumers.

Price gouging—or charging unreasonably excessive prices in times of crisis—violates North Carolina General Statute 75-38, when a disaster, an emergency, or an abnormal market disruption for critical goods and services is declared or proclaimed by the Governor.

"A crisis is the wrong time to try to make a fast buck off of consumers," Cooper said. "Families and businesses across our state are being squeezed by this sudden gas crunch and they deserve fair prices."

The North Carolina Attorney General's Office issued the subpoenas after getting approximately 600 reports of possible price gouging from consumers across North Carolina since Friday.

The subpoenas went to one gas station and one gas wholesaler in Guilford County. The gas station allegedly charged consumers as much as $4.50 a gallon for gas.

The subpoenas require the recipients to provide documentation to the North Carolina Attorney General's Office including information on their costs.

On Friday, September 16, 2016, North Carolina's law against price gouging was triggered by the declaration of an abnormal market disruption due to a gas pipeline leak in Alabama.

Under the law, there is no set price or percentage increase that must be charged to be considered price gouging. The law applies to all levels of the supply chain from the manufacturer to the distributor to the retailer.

Cooper expects to subpoena more gas stations later this week.

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