Conway concerned with gas stations' profits

John O'Brien Sep. 22, 2008, 4:48pm


FRANKFORT, Ky. (Legal Newsline) - Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is warning state petroleum marketers that if they are selling regular gasoline instead of reformulated gas, it should be reflected in the price.

Conway wrote to the Kentucky Petroleum Marketers Association Thursday, hoping to make sure gas stations aren't increasing their profits by offering regular gas at RFG prices.

"Concerns have been expressed to this office about possible sale of conventional gasoline at prices normally charged for more expensive RFG gasoline," Conway wrote.

"The Attorney General's Office wants to caution marketers that the price gouging statute implemented by the governor's Sept. 12 declaration (of a state of emergency because of Hurricane Ike) prohibits sales of gasoline at 'a price which is grossly in excess of the price prior to the emergency declaration and unrelated to any increased cost to the seller.'"

Nearly every eastern state attorney general has begun investigating price-gouging complaints in the wake of Ike.

Stations in Louisville and northern Kentucky were allowed to offer regular gas after Ike. Usually they must sell RFG, but the federal Environmental Protection Agency changed that, provided RFG could not be obtained.

"If we find exorbitant profits at the retail level we'll take the appropriate action under the price-gouging statute, which includes... restitution, a $5,000 fine per transaction and a $10,000 fine for subsequent offenses," Conway said.

In July, Conway began investigating the high cost of RFG in Louisville. He said it should be only 5-8 cents more expensive per gallon than regular gas.

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