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Democratic lawmaker calls for increased transparency over potential price gouging at gas stations

There are growing calls for transparency over how Nassau County is investigating potential price gouging at gas stations.

News 12 Staff

Jun 10, 2022, 2:21 AM

Updated 679 days ago

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There are growing calls for transparency over how Nassau County is investigating potential price gouging at gas stations.
Earlier in the week, a gas station in Valley Stream was charging nearly $1 extra to pay with a credit card.
Nassau County inspectors fined the station, and they were charging less on Thursday, lowering its cash price from $5.69 to $5.49.
The crackdown came in response to a complaint, but it's not clear how proactively Nassau is searching for price gouging on their own.
Democratic Legislator Kevan Abrahams sent a letter Thursday, asking the Consumer Affairs commission to "Please advise me of how many stations were surveyed as part of this endeavor, the results of these surveys, whether any of the stations were engaging in price gouging and your office's plan for future gas price surveys."
The state Attorney General's Office is encouraging drivers to file complaints if they suspect unfair prices at a gas station.
A spokesperson for the Attorney General's Office says businesses likely would not be charged with price gouging because there is no emergency in effect.
Hofstra University Law professor Norman Silber says if there is a period of abnormal disruption and a business is taking advantage, then it's price gouging under the law.
"I think with the war in Ukraine causing disruptions in supply, with problems we've had in the chain of supply, with the problems we've had with COVID, there are a lot of reasons to call this a period of disruption in my view," Silber says.
A Nassau County spokesperson says a different number of gas stations are checked every day based on complaints.
Meanwhile, Suffolk County says they have four to six inspectors out each day, looking at around 100 gas stations.


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