Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Stumbo Announces Settlements and Lawsuit in Gas Price Gouging Investigation
Kentucky Attorney General Greg Stumbo announced today that his Office of Consumer Protection has imposed fines totaling $47,500 on five petroleum retailers following an extensive investigation into allegations of gas price gouging.
Stumbo also announced 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 will continue with the subpoena of records from all Speedway gas stations across Kentucky. An investigation into price gouging by refineries is also ongoing.
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. This legislation was sponsored by Representative Tommy Thompson of Owensboro.
The Attorney General’s investigation found that eleven stations excessively increased prices to obtain windfall profits during the state of emergency. 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 Hindman 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
Total Settlement Amount: $47,500
“I will not permit price gouging of consumers,” Stumbo said. “In a time of national crisis, every refinery, distributor and gas station is required to follow the law. Today’s announcement puts them on alert that this Office is enforcing the price gouging law and will continue to be vigilant in protecting consumers against gouging.”
Last fall, the Office of the Attorney General publicized a toll-free number and email address for consumers to use to report instances of possible price gouging. Several hundred complaints were received and this investigation and settlement followed. Consumers can continue to report price gouging complaints to the Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.