News from Governor Kaine on Price Gouging

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Read below about the investigation of price gouging seen probably the worse in Roanoke several days ago. It seemed as though the outfall of media hype fed by rumors was the drastic increase in fuel prices. This increase was obviously gouging. Read what Gov. Kaine says below:

RICHMOND In an effort to increase the supply of gasoline in the Commonwealth of Virginia following the disruption in the normal flow of petroleum products caused by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, Governor Timothy M. Kaine waived certain specifications that prescribe volatility standards for gasoline. This action allows immediate distribution of gasoline blends that would normally not be allowed until October 1.

Governor Kaine also announced today that the State has put together an experienced team of 30 inspectors from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) who are working across the Commonwealth to respond as quickly as possible to the more than 2,000 calls about possible gas price gouging received by the VDACS Division of Consumer Protection since Virginians first felt Hurricane Ike’s impact. Staff at VDACS continue to monitor the Consumer Protection Hotline to take calls around the clock to ensure that every complaint about gas prices is evaluated.

“It is intolerable that anyone would take advantage of consumers in this situation, and we will aggressively pursue unscrupulous operators charging excessive prices,” Governor Kaine said. “Virginians can do their part to help by maintaining a normal routine for refueling their vehicles, conserving fuel whenever possible and reporting any instances of possible price gouging to the VDACS Division of Consumer Protection.”

Anyone who believes they have been the victim of price gouging is encouraged to report such by calling VDACS Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-552-9963 or 804-786-2476.

The state has taken additional measures in response to the Gulf Coast hurricanes. The Departments of Emergency Management, Transportation and Motor Vehicles have issued waivers to facilitate the uninterrupted transportation of gasoline from suppliers to retailers. The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy is closely monitoring the situation to ensure that adequate gasoline supplies remain available. As part of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact that allows for the sharing of resources in response to disasters, Virginia has sent state personnel and resources to Texas and Louisiana to help in response and recovery.

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