Last September’s sudden, big, jumps in gasoline prices at some stations has led to a tough anti-price gouging proposal in the Legislature. State Senator Patrick Dougherty wants to let the Attorney General take action if a retailer suddenly jumps prices more than ten percent during a declared state of emergency. The Attorney General did prosecute a few gas stations last year under the unfair merchandising practices act, but Assistant Attorney General Brett Barry says that standard is not good enough. Most of the opposition comes from the petroleum industry, which says – among other things – that the bill is un-American. Dougherty says he doesn’t want to go after retailers who have to pass along price-gouging from the wholesale level.
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