Attorney General Goes After Price-Gouging Gas Stations

(Photo: Getty)

As several gas station owners are about to learn, it’s against New York State law to jack up the price of goods like fuel after a hurricane. To wit, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced he is bringing his “first series of enforcement actions” against price gougers in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

“Today’s action is the first in a series of steps my office will take as we continue to actively investigate the hundreds of complaints we’ve received from consumers of businesses preying on victims of Hurricane Sandy,” the attorney general said in a statement. “We will do everything we can to stop unscrupulous individuals from taking advantage of New Yorkers trying to rebuild their lives.”

Although the law doesn’t specifically cite an illegal price for gasoline, it does prohibit an “unconscionably excessive price” during an “abnormal disruption of the market,” according to Mr. Schneiderman’s office. In addition to “war” and “military action,” the law names “weather events” as a triggering event that would restrict such sharp price increases. A fatal storm that left much of the city without gas would certainly seem to qualify.

Mr. Schneiderman said thirteen retailers in particular “stand out from others in the high prices they have charged and in the size of their price increases,” which can be viewed below, along with the alleged illegal prices:

Nassau County
3709 Crompond Road
Cortlandt Manor, NY 10567
Consumer compliant $5.00

408 Rockaway Turnpike
Cedarhurst, NY 11516
Consumer complaint 5.00+

Suffolk County
Babylon Gas Station/Express Mart
1000 Route 109
Lindenhurst, NY 11757
Consumer complaint $4.99

USA Petroleum
East Islip, NY
11730, NY
Consumer complaint $5.50+

USA Petroleum
2664 Route 112
Medford, NY 11763
Consumer complaint 5.50+

Westchester County
174 Westchester Avenue
White Plains, NY
Consumer complaint $5.05

Hutchinson River Parkway
White Plains, NY
Consumer complaint $5.03

278 Greenpoint Ave
Brooklyn, NY
Consumer complaint $4.74

4040 Crescent St
Long Island City ,NY
Consumer complaint $4.89

Northern Heights Service
7018 Northern Blvd
Jackson Heights, NY
Consumer complaint $5.50

1309 14th Avenue
College Point, NY
Consumer compliant $5.00

600 Pelham Parkway
Bronx, NY
Consumer complaint $5.39

688 E. Gun Hill Road
Bronx, NY
Consumer complaint $4.89

Attorney General Goes After Price-Gouging Gas Stations