Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Stumbo Announces Gas Price Gouging Settlement with Franklin Retailer
Attorney General Greg Stumbo announced today that his Office of Consumer Protection has imposed a fine of $5,000 against Bluegrass Travel Plaza, LLC, to settle price gouging allegations in connection with its sale of gasoline during the state of emergency declared on August 31, 2005. Bluegrass Travel Plaza, LLC is located at 3303 Scottsville Road in Franklin, Kentucky.
This agreement represents the 11th gasoline station that has settled price gouging allegations, bringing to $52,500 the total settlement reached by the Office of Consumer Protection.
Last week Stumbo announced settlements with eleven other stations that excessively increased prices to obtain windfall profits during the state of emergency. The Office’s investigation into gas price gouging began after Hurricane’s Katrina and Rita in the summer of 2005. On August 31, 2005 Attorney General Stumbo called upon Governor Fletcher to declare a State of Emergency to put the price gouging law, KRS 367.374, into effect.
Under Kentucky’s Price Gouging law, passed in 2004, no supplier of an essential consumer product, including gas, can sell it for a price grossly in excess of that charged prior to the declaration.
Aside from Bluegrass Travel Plaza, LLC, the following petroleum marketers have reached a settlement agreement with the Office of the Attorney General:
- Max Arnold & Sons LLC., headquartered in Hopkinsville, Kentucky
Excessive gas price increases at four locations in Western Kentucky – Hopkinsville, Elkton, Oak Grove and Grand Rivers
$20,000 settlement reached
- Fred’s Minit Mart, headquartered in Bowling Green, Kentucky
Excessive gas price increase at one location in Bowling Green and one in Brownsville
$10,000 settlement reached
- Childers Oil Company, headquartered in Whitesburg, Kentucky
Excessive gas price increase at two locations in Eastern Kentucky – Goody Double Kwik in South Williamson and Double Kwik in Hindman
$10,000 settlement reached
- Kentucky Petroleum Supply, doing business as First Class Travel Center – Excessive gas price increase at location in Grayson, Kentucky
$5,000 settlement reached
- The Commissary, Inc. – Excessive gas price increase at location in Harlan, Kentucky
$2,500 settlement reached
Furthermore, Stumbo announced last week that a lawsuit has been filed against Mar Rob, Inc., doing business as Mickey’s Fastrac BP in Scottsville, alleging additional gas price gouging violations. The suit seeks a $5,000 penalty per violation plus restitution.
Attorney General Stumbo’s crackdown is continuing with the subpoena of records from all Speedway gas stations across Kentucky. This includes a subpoena of records up to and including last week when the state experienced a sudden and unexplained surge in gasoline prices. An investigation into price gouging by refineries is also ongoing.
“Retailers and wholesalers should be getting the message that price gouging at the pump will not be tolerated,” said Attorney General Stumbo. “My Office is watching the market. If gas prices increase, with no simultaneous increase in market price, we will investigate on behalf of hard working Kentuckians.”
Consumers can continue to report price gouging complaints to the Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection by email at email@example.com.