RALEIGH, NC (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has taken a series of steps to ensure gasoline gets in and through the state, and that motorists don’t pay more than they should to fill up. One executive order signed Thursday declared a state of emergency to temporarily waive the cap on the maximum hours fuel vehicles can travel in and through the state. Another order puts the state’s price-gouging law in effect for the next 45 days.
SOUTH CAROLINA LOOKING INTO IT
The SC governor’s office says they are looking into the law about declaring a state of emergency and are meeting with lawyers.
They said most of the time this is handled through the AG’s office.
Robert Kittle with the Attorney General’s Office said they are looking into it as well.
He said normally two things can happen:
The Governor declares a state of emergency or the AG’s office can declare it based on an abnormal disruption of the market.
Kittle said the AG’s office will issue a statement whether they will or won’t declare.
If there is a state of emergency, he says there will be steps for people to follow to report price gouging.
The AG’s Office released the following statement:
In the aftermath of last week’s storm in Texas, our office is continuing to monitor its effect on gas prices in South Carolina. While it’s true you are paying more at the pump, the simple rise in the price of gasoline does not equal price gouging under state law. Price fluctuations are a normal part of the free market.
However, South Carolina does have a law against price gouging (SC Code § 39-5-145) that takes effect under very specific circumstances. Run-ups in price, even those that seem large, may be justified by market forces in our competitive system. But if you feel like you are the victim of price gouging there are certain steps that you can take to help our office investigate. Please do the following:
1. Note the time, place, address, and name of the gas station
2. Note the price you paid
3. Note any prices nearby and get the same information on those stations
4. Take pictures that identify the station, along with the price
5. Provide your name and contact information
Our office will need that information in order to conduct a thorough investigation. Please email any examples or documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 803-737-3953 and leave a message if you have witnessed a likely violation.