Gas Gouging: What You Can Do
"We'll make sure that the energy companies are pricing their product fairly. If
we catch 'em gouging, if we catch 'em in unfair trade practices, we'll deal with
'em at the federal goverment. That's what you expect the federal government to
This reported by WCBT in Boston is a remark by President Bush on Tuesday. President Bush is expected to follow through with an investigation by the Justice Department. However, some remain skeptical.
In Virginia there is a gas price gouging law that goes into action when a state of emergency is declared:
The Attorney General’s Office and federal agencies such as the Federal
Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Energy continue to monitor gasoline
prices in an effort to determine whether changes in prices are caused by normal
market forces or by other factors that may violate state and federal competition
In addition, the Virginia legislature passed a price gouging statute at the
2004 session of the General Assembly. This statute is triggered when
either the Governor or the President declares a state of emergency.
The price gouging statute requires the Virginia Attorney General, and other
enforcement agencies, to consider whether post-disaster prices of a supplier
grossly exceed the prices the supplier charged for the same goods or services
during the ten (10) days immediately prior to the disaster.
The statute also requires consideration of whether the increased costs are
attributable solely to the increased costs of the supplier. The Attorney General
is prepared to act if an emergency is declared or if a determination is made
that our competition laws are being violated.
There is a form consumers can fill out and send to the State of Virginia, unfortunately this is only active during declared emergencies.
If you want to file a complaint about gas gouging perhaps your best bet is to go to Virginia Attorney General's website were you can file consumer complaints.