RALEIGH — Attorney General Roy Cooper issued subpoenas Monday to a gas station and a gas wholesaler that allegedly price gouged consumers.
“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.”
Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division issued the subpoenas today after getting approximately 600 reports of possible price gouging from consumers across North Carolina since Friday.
The subpoenas went to one gas station in Guilford County and one gas wholesaler, also 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 Attorney General’s Office including information on their costs.
Cooper expects to subpoena more gas stations later this week.
Report possible gas price gouging to the Attorney General’s Office by filing a consumer complaint at ncdoj.gov or calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within North Carolina.
“My office will take swift legal action if our investigation shows that any retailer, distributor or wholesaler has broken the law by price gouging,” Cooper said.
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. On Friday, 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.
Learn more about the price gouging law, what to report, and how the Attorney General investigates allegations at ncdoj.gov.
“People are letting us know about unreasonable gas prices and we’re following up on their reports,” Cooper said. “I encourage consumers to conserve gas when possible and shop around for the best price when they need to fill up.”