Shortages or Gouging? We hear from NC Attorney General on gas price increases

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Gov. Roy Cooper has asked the attorney general to investigate any gouging of gas prices in the state. This coming in the wake of refineries closing around Texas and Louisiana because of Harvey.

We went out and found gas in Bellville at $2.34 and $2.55 at two stations. On the other side of the overpass, it’s almost $3 in Leland.

“We’ve got to have it and people are going to pay for it,” said Brent Robinson, who paid nearly $3 a gallon.

Prepare for the prices at the pump to not be pleasing this Labor Day weekend.

“I will not be surprised to see gas, diesel go up to $3 to $4 a gallon,” Robinson said citing the issues with fuel refining in Houston.

The state is seeing prices increase after the Texas and Louisiana refineries stopped production. The state is taking action though to make sure supply and demand is not actually gouging.

We asked Attorney General Josh Stein what would lead them to call out a station on gouging customers.

“Just the last day we’ve had a hundred and thirty complaints filed with our office about excessively high gas prices and we will look into those complaints,” Stein said.

Stein said his office will reach out to stores named in complaints and gauge if the price increases are justifiable. A Citgo was $2.31 two days ago, and Friday afternoon it was at almost $3 a gallon.

“I think a price increase as you’ve described of half a dollar would definitely be something worthy of an investigation,” Stein said.

The Citgo sat less than a mile from the Belville stations, but across from a GoGas that was taped off, apparently out of service.

For some drivers an increase of a quarter or so a gallon is nothing.

“This is minimal compared to what other Americans are dealing with right now,” driver Steve Vogt said.

“I’m not really afraid of a twenty cents raise in gas prices. Like I said when it goes to a dollar that’s when you know something is really going on,” said Phil Angelo, who is traveling to Charlotte for the holiday weekend.

AAA reports the state average at just over $2.40 a gallon. Locally it’s around that number as well.

“I’m getting mine. I’m getting mine now,” said another driver, who paid $2.59 a gallon in downtown Wilmington.

You can contact the Attorney General’s office to report any possible price gouging.

Categories: Brunswick, Local, New Hanover

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