The rising price of gas | Arkansas Blog

Friday, February 25, 2011

The rising price of gas

Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has issued a news release in response to the rising price of gasoline.

Boiled down: We feel your pain. Read it all on the jump.

Here's what I'd like to see — a sweep by the state's weights-and-measures people to see if gas station pumps are properly calibrated. It occurred to me the other day that that's an easier and less obvious way to rip people off than price gouging (which is legal so long as we aren't in a state of emergency.)

I had a humongous fillup the other day and saw the pump registered 19.5 gallons. My owner's manual says the fuel tank capacity is 18. WTF????

ATTORNEY GENERAL NEWS RELEASE

LITTLE ROCK - Turmoil in the Middle East is a major factor that has lead to higher prices at the gas pump for Arkansas consumers. The AAA said Friday that the national average cost per gallon for unleaded fuel rose by 5.9 cents overnight. That marks the third consecutive day of price-per-gallon increases, largely because of unrest in Libya.

With gas prices now over $3 per gallon in Arkansas, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this special consumer alert to address some of the issues raised by concerned Arkansans.

McDaniel said his office has received dozens of calls this week alone from consumers troubled by the rise in fuel prices. And, with Spring's arrival and more drivers hitting the road, there's little chance that gas costs will subside in the near future.

"We are accustomed to paying less for gasoline in the winter months, because there's usually less demand during this time of year," McDaniel said. "However, the civil unrest in Egypt and now in Libya has caused a lot of uncertainty in the oil markets. We know that the cost of fuel directly impacts every Arkansas consumer."

McDaniel pledged to monitor the situation, but said consumers have few options regarding the latest spike in gas prices.

Some consumers have asked about the Arkansas Price Gouging Law, Act 376 of 1997. The law prohibits sellers of certain consumer goods and services from taking advantage of a disaster resulting in a declaration of emergency by price gouging. After a state of emergency has been declared, the seller can raise prices by no more than 10 percent, unless the seller can show that his own costs have increased. The law would not be applicable in this situation because there is no current statewide declaration of emergency, and, even if an emergency is declared, retailers are allowed to raise prices when their own costs increase.

"Like any free-market commodity, the retail price of gasoline is based on factors like supply, demand and competition," McDaniel said. "It's our understanding that these recent increases are brought upon by the increased prices charged to refiners, which gets passed along to wholesalers and then retailers."

One area of concern to McDaniel would be if any retailers or fuel distributors reach agreements with competitors regarding prices. Such agreements, or "price fixing," would violate state and federal antitrust laws.
McDaniel encouraged consumers with direct knowledge of price fixing to call his office's Consumer Protection Division.

"We want to make sure that Arkansans are getting a fair deal at the gas pump," McDaniel said. "If there is evidence to suggest that gas stations are engaged in illegal price fixing, we will not hesitate to investigate."

To register a complaint or for more information on other consumer issues, call the Attorney General's Consumer Hotline at (501) 682-2341 or, toll-free, at (800) 482-8982. The Attorney General's Office website is www.arkansasag.gov.

Tags:

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (22)

Showing 1-22 of 22

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-22 of 22

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • An open line for Sunday

    An open line.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • City plans more spending on 30 Crossing

    The Little Rock City Board meets Tuesday to set an agenda for the following week and among the "consent" items is a new $175,000 with Nelson/Nygaard consultants to "assist with a comprehensive review" of the 30 Crossing project, otherwise known as the bigger concrete ditch the Department of Transportation wants to tear through the heart of Little Rock.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • NFL owners rise to defense of players against Trump and false patriots

    Many football team owners have risen to the defense of players against Donald Trump criticism as yet another racially fraught issue seems likely to gain increasing heat thanks to Trump's rhetoric.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • More on how highways were used to wipe out "blight" of non-white neighborhoods

    Vox, a news website that concerns itself with energy and other issues, has a fine piece, including before and after images, on the history of the U.S. interstate system and why roads were built through the middle of cities (unless people of influence stopped them — see Manhattan, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.)
    • Mar 22, 2016
  • Rep. Mary Bentley's website now supports gay rights

    Somebody has cybersquatted on Republican Rep. Mary Bentley's website, replacing her messaging with a call for equal rights for LGBTQ people.
    • Jul 18, 2017
  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation