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TMCNo1
09-16-2008, 05:06 PM
Attorney General: Gouging Won't Be Tolerated

Department Of Justice Has Received More Than 2,500 Complaints


POSTED: 2:59 pm EDT September 15, 2008
UPDATED: 5:32 pm EDT September 15, 2008
WINSTON-SALEM -- Subpoenas are being sent out Monday to gas stations in North Carolina in response to consumer complaints that accuse the stations of charging excessive prices for gasoline, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced at a press conference.
More than 2,500 gas consumers across North Carolina reported claims of price gouging over the weekend as gas prices skyrocketed in reaction to Hurricane Ike.http://spe.atdmt.com/b/FRINVFSHIFSI/2251_FII_Fall_SBv3_QN_300x250_0408.gif (http://servedby.advertising.com/click/site=0000755647/mnum=0000610070/cstr=24926700=_48d01009,9788555173,755647%5E610070 %5E1%5E0,1_/xsxdata=$xsxdata/bnum=24926700/optn=64?trg=http://clk.atdmt.com/goiframe/42810797/tcdxxfsi0110000989inv/direct;vt.1/01)

Cooper said subpoenas had been issued to stations in Anson, Ashe, Cherokee, Guilford, Montgomery, Stanley and Transylvania counties.
Those stations were charging prices more than $5.49 per gallon. The retailers will have 10 days to explain why their prices went so high -- $7.32 a gallon in at least one case.
The Grand Central Express located on Surrett Drive in High Point was one of the subpoenaed stations. Owner Anita Swink told WXII 12 news that that she was charging $3.89 per gallon on Friday, but raised the price to $5.63 after her supplier charged her $5.33 per gallon for a new shipment.
Swink said customers complained so she lowered her price to $3.99. She said she is now taking a loss for all of the gasoline she sells.
"It's clear that this hurricane has caused some market instability and that there has been some rise in prices due to market forces," Cooper said. "However, this is no excuse to rip off North Carolina consumers who are already suffering from high gas prices."
On Friday, Gov. Mike Easley declared a state of "abnormal market disruption" and signed an order allowing Cooper to enforce the state's anti-gouging law.
Cooper said this is the first time his office has enacted the law since it's inception following Hurricane Katrina.
"Gouging for greed will not be tolerated in North Carolina," Cooper added. "We will take action if our investigation reveals that any retailer, distributor or wholesaler has violated North Carolina's price gouging law."
AAA officials said the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in North Carolina is up to $4.085 a gallon, more than 50 cents higher that it was last week.
Consumers who suspect a station may call 877-5-NO-SCAM.
Consumers are asked to take a picture of the price the station is charging and be prepared to submit it with their paperwork.

The NC State Attorney General is also conducting a investigation into wholesaler price gouging too, as a result of the retailers invoices showing a $2 or more an gallon increase overnight!

SkiDog
09-16-2008, 05:45 PM
Bust their a$$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Barrel of Oil today is low $90's and gas keeps going up! What the hell?!

Monte
09-16-2008, 05:49 PM
Bust their a$$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Barrel of Oil today is low $90's and gas keeps going up! What the hell?!

He IS going to bust some a$$. The fed should have long since been involved in this by now though. Driving back through three states Sunday. The difference in what the prices were exit to exit was mind boggling.:mad:

ProTour X9
09-16-2008, 05:53 PM
I thought there was a limit on how high they can raise their prices in a given timeframe?

TMCNo1
09-16-2008, 05:57 PM
I thought there was a limit on how high they can raise their prices in a given timeframe?


There is, IIRC, it's suppose to be a one a 24 hour limit, but here at one station while a friend was in line waiting to buy gas, the station manager raised prices 3 times in 45 minutes! Price went from $3.55 to $4.69 in 4 hours!

sdesmond
09-16-2008, 06:01 PM
Gas is $4.29 here in NW Indiana. Seems they are always making excuses to raise the prices back up.

chudson
09-16-2008, 06:13 PM
$3.85 and $3.88 in Urbana and Peoria IL

http://illinoishomepage.net/content/gastracker

Can't blame Ethanol on this, the price of corn has droped 40% since the 4th of July!!!!

6ballsisall
09-16-2008, 06:29 PM
On our way home from MM fuel in Knoxvegas was as high as $5.09 a gallon. ABSURD!!
:mad::mad:

wsrobert
09-16-2008, 06:31 PM
$3.89 in Baton Rouge...

Gonzo
09-16-2008, 07:00 PM
I hear Tx.X30 stalking this post with an Oprah picture.... its coming I can feel it.

bobbyB
09-16-2008, 07:12 PM
My initial reaction is one of frustration like probably many of you, but I've been thinking a little more about this lately.

I realize that there might be some regulations placed on the industries, but basically they own a buisiness just like alot of us. We can throw out all the arguments we want, but the bottom line is the old "supply and demand" rule. I make the choice to spend the money on gas. I could ride the bike and/or swollow my pride and ride the scooter, but I make the choice to buy the gas. If I don't like it....I know what I need to do, stop buying it.

It bothers me when people get all up in arms about this stuff. No one is making us use the gas. It is a choice of convienience, so I just can't see pitchin a fit when the prices jump. If you had a product that was in short supply and everyone wanted it, wouldn't you try to get the most out of it?

I know we are a nation that is dependant on gas, but that doesn't mean that we should limit the free market enterprise system. We continue to create regulated senerios and we won't have a free market anymore. I for one am one who doesn't want any more gov regs at all; so even though it hurts, I'm going nut up and take my medicine.

This should get some interesting responses.
B

TMCNo1
09-16-2008, 07:25 PM
Someone stick a fork in this thread, it's already gone political!http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/8/8_16_1.gif

bigmac
09-16-2008, 07:30 PM
I just paid $3.69 / gal for regular (10% ethanol) here in central Minnesota. No gas lines. Prices here have gone up about $0.15 in the last 10 days.

ProTour X9
09-16-2008, 08:07 PM
I's gonna ride a horse ta skool!:rolleyes:

TMCNo1
09-16-2008, 09:09 PM
It's got so bad around here, the ducks are riding the bus to save energy!

TX.X-30 fan
09-16-2008, 10:14 PM
I thought there was a limit on how high they can raise their prices in a given timeframe?

I hear Tx.X30 stalking this post with an Oprah picture.... its coming I can feel it.




X9 I believe that is correct in Russia. :mad:


Good one Gonzo. Does anyone really want the govt to set prices? IF ones state has adequate refining capacity then there should be no or very little price fluctuations during times of natural disasters. We have seen very small increase because our city has stored capacity very close.

My first inclination would not be to tell a small business owner what he can charge for his products, but hey that's just the american in me slipping out.

No one wants a refinery or an oil well near them but its perfectly fine for Texas and LA to supply everyone, flawed thinking in my opinion.


here gonzo. :D






40288

Gonzo
09-16-2008, 11:23 PM
lol, I knew I could count on you...

and I have to agree, since I became self aware (ie quit drinking all the time and grew up) I have never understood why the only refineries we have are sitting in the hurricane bullseye. People always talk about the platforms and easy access to the ocean traffic but its seems to me if we can build a pipe from alaska to the lower 48 we can sure build one 300 miles inland.

brillo
09-16-2008, 11:28 PM
Went from 3.69 to 3.99 Sunday but we have been paying 4.99 a gallon on water all summer.

TMCNo1
09-17-2008, 01:03 AM
Went from 3.69 to 3.99 Sunday but we have been paying 4.99 a gallon on water all summer.

It contains a "You can afford it, because you own a boat", $1.00 surcharge!:rolleyes::D

JKTX21
09-17-2008, 01:05 AM
My initial reaction is one of frustration like probably many of you, but I've been thinking a little more about this lately.

I realize that there might be some regulations placed on the industries, but basically they own a buisiness just like alot of us. We can throw out all the arguments we want, but the bottom line is the old "supply and demand" rule. I make the choice to spend the money on gas. I could ride the bike and/or swollow my pride and ride the scooter, but I make the choice to buy the gas. If I don't like it....I know what I need to do, stop buying it.

It bothers me when people get all up in arms about this stuff. No one is making us use the gas. It is a choice of convienience, so I just can't see pitchin a fit when the prices jump. If you had a product that was in short supply and everyone wanted it, wouldn't you try to get the most out of it?

I know we are a nation that is dependant on gas, but that doesn't mean that we should limit the free market enterprise system. We continue to create regulated senerios and we won't have a free market anymore. I for one am one who doesn't want any more gov regs at all; so even though it hurts, I'm going nut up and take my medicine.

This should get some interesting responses.
B

The voice of reason is not widely accepted in the US of A

ULMboarder
09-17-2008, 02:27 AM
i payed 3.49 a little while ago. im in northeast Louisiana.

sdesmond
09-17-2008, 07:50 AM
I guess the sad thing for us is there is a BP refinery 5 miles from here. The further you get away from it the cheaper it get is what it seems like.

djhuff
09-17-2008, 08:34 AM
The ONLY reason I would like to see regulation is because the oil industry has become an oligopoly. Regulate the price of gas to wholesalers, and the price wholesalers can charge to the independent stations. The stations should be able to set market prices based on supply and demand, not the wholesalers.
What we saw in NC was a wholesaler inflated market, supported by media hysteria that there would be no more gas. If a station was required to pay 4.75 for gas, then has to add road use tax and a small profit of 2-4 cents per gallon, you are up over $5 per gallon. What many stations did around my area was raise the price to around 399, but when they ran out, they waited to see what the hurricane did before buying more gas. This was the prudent thing to do IMO. If I was a station owner, I wouldn't want to be left holding 4.75 per gallon gas, when my competitors were buying gas at 3.00 per gallon, i'd have to take a 1.75 per gallon hit on whatever I had left. Hence the shortage, and whatever stations did buy gas were able to sell it at the usual profit margin of 2-4cents (yes, that is what stations make per gallon).

The stations that went over 7.00 per gallon should be run through the ringer (It's $5,000 per transaction that went through at that price if found guilty).

bbymgr
09-17-2008, 08:44 AM
The ONLY reason I would like to see regulation is because the oil industry has become an oligopoly. Regulate the price of gas to wholesalers, and the price wholesalers can charge to the independent stations. The stations should be able to set market prices based on supply and demand, not the wholesalers.
What we saw in NC was a wholesaler inflated market, supported by media hysteria that there would be no more gas. If a station was required to pay 4.75 for gas, then has to add road use tax and a small profit of 2-4 cents per gallon, you are up over $5 per gallon. What many stations did around my area was raise the price to around 399, but when they ran out, they waited to see what the hurricane did before buying more gas. This was the prudent thing to do IMO. If I was a station owner, I wouldn't want to be left holding 4.75 per gallon gas, when my competitors were buying gas at 3.00 per gallon, i'd have to take a 1.75 per gallon hit on whatever I had left. Hence the shortage, and whatever stations did buy gas were able to sell it at the usual profit margin of 2-4cents (yes, that is what stations make per gallon).

The stations that went over 7.00 per gallon should be run through the ringer (It's $5,000 per transaction that went through at that price if found guilty).

I don't think it works like that. I call on 150 gas stations a month(work for Philip Morris). From what I have been told, all the tanks are computerized to show remaining volume in tank. So when the prices go up, they are only charged more for the gallons that they sell for more. When it goes back down, it reads how much is left in tank and starts charging less for what is left. The retailer is pretty much handcuffed, when the distributer calls and says to go up in price, the account has to go up.

djhuff
09-17-2008, 10:45 AM
I don't think it works like that. I call on 150 gas stations a month(work for Philip Morris). From what I have been told, all the tanks are computerized to show remaining volume in tank. So when the prices go up, they are only charged more for the gallons that they sell for more. When it goes back down, it reads how much is left in tank and starts charging less for what is left. The retailer is pretty much handcuffed, when the distributer calls and says to go up in price, the account has to go up.

OK, that explains the stations' price adjustments, but not the wholesaler price adjustments (and also contradicts what I have been told by friends who own stations).

They HAVE to go up in price to be able to afford the replacement gas, but it's still a business decision (for the station owner). Many stations are being bought by the larger companies and are not independent anymore either, further leading to price fixing to some degree (business decisions affect many stations in an area, and the high price becomes widespread instead of isolated).

I've actually followed this a lot in the past years, while trying to support local, independent gas stations with my boat gas, and only those who make an effort to keep gas prices as low as possible. They do this by watching price fluctuations and NOT buying when the wholesale price fluctuates wildly upward. These stores I frequent the inside of, to buy ice, beer, sandwiches, snacks, etc. which actually affect their bottom line. If I feel I'm getting screwed at the pump, I DON'T go inside.

Again, I'm not IN the industry, but I stand by my statement that any station charging over $7 per gallon during the last week should be run through the ringer.

6ballsisall
09-17-2008, 10:48 AM
I had to fill up this morning in the Suburban (thats a spendy proposition! :rolleyes:)

When my wife left this morning 3 stations by our house had just closed that morning because they were out of fuel. The Kroger we always get our fuel at was @ $3.89 for the cheap stuff. I got there 15 minutes later and it was $4.09 a gallon. Coincidence on the price increase??? :rolleyes::rolleyes:

bbymgr
09-17-2008, 10:56 AM
Again, I'm not IN the industry, but I stand by my statement that any station charging over $7 per gallon during the last week should be run through the ringer.



I agree 100%.

TX.X-30 fan
09-17-2008, 11:39 AM
Some places sell burgers for 10 dollars, you have no obligation to buy them. Some boat manufacturers sell good boats for 45,000 and MC sells them for 90,000?? I think the federal govt. should force MC to sell X45's for 48,500.

TMCNo1
09-17-2008, 11:45 AM
I heard the hookers in our area were going up on their prices just like the gasoline retailers, cause they were getting tired of going in the hole and losing money!http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/36/36_35_4.gif

TX.X-30 fan
09-17-2008, 11:51 AM
Way too early to be drinking #1 :D

TMCNo1
09-17-2008, 12:01 PM
Way too early to be drinking #1 :D




It's just the am coffee, I can't drink more than 2 cups and drive!http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/36/36_11_11.gif

Hammer
09-17-2008, 12:06 PM
Way too early to be drinking #1 :D

It's 5 o'clock somewhere!! At least at his house!

x-10ron
09-17-2008, 12:08 PM
yeah, florida is in the same boat, one station will be 4.10 a gallon for reg and 2 blocks down the road same brand of gas 3.79, what gives???

defender1009
09-17-2008, 12:15 PM
It's called capitalism---maybe the guy at 4.10 has a different supplier with higher costs, or maybe he's just trying to make .31 more per gallon sold. Either way, it's your right to patronize him or not. If enough people refuse to buy from him at that price, then he lowers his price to get more customers-----supply and demand in microeconomic action. If the guy at 3.79 sells out and has no gas to sell for the next several days while awaiting his supplier, then he probably sold it too low.

I know in SC we had prices all over the board. I'm not exactly Mr. Moneybags, but I made the choice to go to the station that was .30/gallon higher than the others in my town. Sure it cost me around $7 more to fill up, but it was worth it to not be 6 cars deep in line to fight for gas.

This problem was created by the buying public and the media----once the rumor got started that gas supplies would be drying up, people went nuts and the result was completely predictable.

TX.X-30 fan
09-17-2008, 12:51 PM
Great post defender. Pretty simple stuff really.

atlfootr
09-25-2008, 03:09 PM
Should be able (hopefully) to get some really HIGH $$$$ price gouge pics this weekend ...

Andyg
09-25-2008, 04:06 PM
I am in Charlotte today for work and was amazed at what I was hearing. They are talking about gas shortages hear so of course everyone down here is in a panic and going to the gas stations and filling up there cars and everything else. I saw several gas stations that didn't have any gas and a couple of gas stations that did have gas had lines of cars for a couple of blocks.

vision
09-25-2008, 04:08 PM
I agree with Defender to a point. However, the problem is that gas stations do not operate in a free market. They are predominately tied to one and only one supplier by contract. Do not buy from that supplier, and the station is cut off. Furthermore, there is good evidence in the form of written communications and emails, that suppliers in an area act as a monopoly by setting prices. This is the basis of the recent state anti-trust actions against some suppliers.

No question that the media and the public drive up the price by increasing demand when a crisis is perceived. But, take away the monopolistic distribution system in place in most areas, especially in the southeast, and the wide price swings would subside.

But as Defender indicated, we are an important factor in driving up gas prices. Use less, and prices would fall.

3event
09-25-2008, 04:10 PM
Thanks Andyg

Note to self, on arrival in Charlotte next week, plan ahead on refilling rental car.

Here in WI it's dropping, I just paid $3.59 for 87octane at lunchtime.

Last weekend I grabbed enough gas for last ski run, $4.09 for 89oct. That was the highest price I ever paid for boat gas. But it was only 6 gallons.

lanier92prostar
09-25-2008, 04:11 PM
I am in Charlotte today for work and was amazed at what I was hearing. They are talking about gas shortages hear so of course everyone down here is in a panic and going to the gas stations and filling up there cars and everything else. I saw several gas stations that didn't have any gas and a couple of gas stations that did have gas had lines of cars for a couple of blocks.

Welcome to our world over the last 2 weeks.

6ballsisall
09-25-2008, 04:12 PM
Should be able (hopefully) to get some really HIGH $$$$ price gouge pics this weekend ...

You'll probably be out of luck Super Mod.........there really isn't much price gouging going on here. The problem is, there isn't any fuel!

lanier92prostar
09-25-2008, 04:21 PM
It's called capitalism---maybe the guy at 4.10 has a different supplier with higher costs, or maybe he's just trying to make .31 more per gallon sold. Either way, it's your right to patronize him or not. If enough people refuse to buy from him at that price, then he lowers his price to get more customers-----supply and demand in microeconomic action. If the guy at 3.79 sells out and has no gas to sell for the next several days while awaiting his supplier, then he probably sold it too low.

I know in SC we had prices all over the board. I'm not exactly Mr. Moneybags, but I made the choice to go to the station that was .30/gallon higher than the others in my town. Sure it cost me around $7 more to fill up, but it was worth it to not be 6 cars deep in line to fight for gas.

This problem was created by the buying public and the media----once the rumor got started that gas supplies would be drying up, people went nuts and the result was completely predictable.

Great post. I agree totally. If I have a business, I would like to make as much money at possible without government regulations. As much as I hate the price of fuel, I understand the capitalism aspects of the price hike over the last couple of years. Economy sucks, gas prices will improve as the economy does.