New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman is warning consumers to watch for price gouging of gasoline in the wake of Harvey.
Gas prices shot up this week nationwide to a two-year high, including in New York, after fuel supply shipments were limited by the storm damage in Texas, Schneiderman said.
Schneiderman’s warning to New Yorkers was precautionary, as some gas stations have engaged in price gouging during past storms, he said.
“Experience has shown that some gas station owners use severe storms as an opportunity to exploit consumers,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “We’ll hold accountable those who seek to capitalize on the storm at the expense of hardworking New York families.”
The statewide average in New York climbed 23 cents in the past week as Harvey battered Texas. This week, the storm shut down several refineries and the Colonial Pipeline, which carries gasoline from Texas to the Northeast, Schneiderman said. The 5,500-mile pipeline system carries 100 million gallons of gasoline, home heating oil, aviation fuel and other refined petroleum products daily.
The current average for regular unleaded gas in New York State jumped to $2.70 on Saturday from about $2.47 a week earlier.
New York outlaws excessive price increases in goods and services, such as gasoline, following a natural disaster, Schneiderman said.
Anyone who suspects they have been a victim of price gouging is asked to call the attorney general’s office at 1-800-771-7755 or go to www.ag.ny.gov/price-gouging-complaint-form.