AG To Gas Stations: Don't Even Think About Price Gouging

Ann Santiago
September 1, 2017

It's unclear if the jacked-up rates were the result of price-gouging or if the shutdown of refinery operations in the wake of Harvey was a factor, but the attorney general's office is investigating.

Gasoline: At a Houston convenience store, gas was being sold for $20 per gallon, Paxton's office said. But now he's beloved by all for cracking down on price-gouging in hurricane-hit areas.

Legal penalties run to as much as $20,000 per occurrence, or up to $250,000 if the victim is 65 or older.

"The Office of the Attorney General now has received 550 complaints and 225 emails sent to an emergency address set up for consumers, and more are coming in pretty consistently, " Kayleigh Lovvorn, a media relations official at the Texas attorney general, told Grit Post.

The attorney general's office warned consumers to "be on your guard" in a statement on its website.

"Every state's attorney general will be watching to make sure that there's no price gouging going on", he said, adding that all who are considering raising prices inappropriately "need to watch out". Reports say that it is essential for the continuation of business, though the action is still a criminal offense in the state of Texas.

Some businesses have been selling cases of water for $99, with individual bottles going for $8.50, Paxton's spokeswoman, Kayleigh Lovvorn, told The Washington Post.

They added that this was not an excuse but an explanation for the error. Twitter users have shared a picture of bottled water being sold Friday at a Houston area Best Buy for more than $42 a case.

"Attorney General, clearly all of us would be agreed that it's a moral issue to try and oversell necessities at a time of crisis".

The company said that a few store employees made a decision to sell cases of bottled water even though Best Buy does not sell them by the case.

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