Lawmakers, AG look to halt price gouging

“If you’ll remember in Ike that no wind hit South Carolina, but their fuel prices went up, Georgia fuel shortages. So we need that authority in case one hits Texas and we don’t get any wind from it or affects as we did in Ike,” said Hood.

Jerry Wilkerson disagrees. He represents the Mississippi petroleum marketers and convenience stores association.

“To give the Attorney General the authority to set this up well in advance, when that storm may not come here,” said Wilkerson.

Wilkerson says with the up and down of gas prices, the market disruption provision could cause store owners to lose money.

“We have to abide by what the oil companies charge us. They’re the ones that set the price, so it’s just a matter of what’s going on at the time and it changes overnight,” said Wilkerson.

A bill is expected to be brought before the house favoring the Attorney General’s idea during the next session.

Hood’s office is also looking into price gouging from the supplier level and prices charged to store owners.