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Gas Price Gouging

What to do if you think a business is price gouging the cost of fuel.

Gas pumps at a gas station

Here in Virginia, we’ve been seeing long lines at the gas pump ever since the recent Colonial Pipeline hack disrupted the flow of fuel supplies to much of the East Coast. Authorities are assuring us that there isn’t a gas shortage, and that the issues with distribution are being swiftly addressed, but still many people are understandably worried about making sure they have enough gas in their cars to get to work and to the grocery store.

Gas prices have gone up by about three cents this past week in reaction to the higher-than-usual demand, and will likely head even higher before the distribution crisis is fully resolved. The good news is that Virginia’s Post-Disaster Anti-Price-Gouging Act is in effect now that Governor Northam has declared a state of emergency in the state. The Anti-Price Gouging Act prohibits a supplier from charging unconscionable prices for necessary goods and services, like fuel or water.

If you know of a business that you think is price gouging fuel, there is something you can do about it. You can file a motor fuels price gouging complaint with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) Office of Weights and Measures by printing, completing, and mailing this form. Or you can alert the Office of the Attorney General by emailing consumer@oag.state.va.us, or by calling 800-552-9963.

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