Subpoenas Issued to Price Gouging Stations
Yesterday, Attorney General Bill McCollum issued subpoenas to Flying J, Dodge’s Stores, Valero and Pilot Travel Centers for price gouging. All four companies have stations in the Tampa Bay area. Broward, Dade and Fort Lauderdale counties are also being examined for rampant increases in fuel prices.
The state is reviewing 20 more complaints from Hillsborough County residents and about 20 from Pinellas County residents, according to the Tampa Tribune. By Sunday, there were 549 complaints across the state that warranted investigation, and even more complaints that did not warrant investigation.
At one Flying J on SR 52, the gas was $3.69 a gallon Friday afternoon – and had increased to $4.57 by 6:00 am Saturday.
Florida has an anti-price gouging law that goes into effect when the governor declares a state of emergency. Governor Charlie Crist had declared an emergency because it was thought that Ike was going to hit Florida. The anti-price gouging law is still in effect as of today.
Some stations dropped their prices after being called by the Attorney General, but if the higher price cannot be justified, dropping the price does not get them off the hook. Generally, motorists are out of the money they spent if they bought gas at the inflated prices.