Over 120 Texas Gas Stations Accused of Price Gouging
The Texas Attorney General's Office has issued violations against 127 gas stations for price gouging during Hurricane Harvey.
During a declared state of disaster, businesses are not allowed to drastically raise the price of necessities such as food, water, and fuel. The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act gives the Attorney General power to sue businesses who are found to be gouging prices during such a disaster, up to $20,000 per violation. According to a news release from Attorney General Ken Paxton,
At the outset of Harvey, I made it clear that my office would not tolerate price gouging of vulnerable Texans by any individuals or businesses looking to profit from the hurricane. We’ve given 127 alleged offenders an opportunity to resolve these issues with our office or face possible legal action for violating state law. Our investigation of other businesses into price gouging remains ongoing.
According to Dallas Morning News, all 127 violations are for gas prices of at least $3.99 per gallon. The Attorney General's office received over 5,000 complaints of price gouging during Hurricane Harvey, with reported prices as high as $6.99 per gallon.