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Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency Thursday, activating the state’s price gouging laws against retailers who take advantage of Kentuckians at the gas pump with inflated prices.
So what does that mean for drivers? In short, Kentuckians can now report price gouging to the state attorney general and gas price gougers can be held responsible.
Here’s how you can report price gouging and what the latest move from the governor means.
How do I report gas pricing in my area?
You can submit your report through the Kentucky attorney general’s website. You can also call 1-888-432-9257.
Try to get as much information as you can and document as much as possible. You’ll be asked to submit the retailer’s name, address, when and where you experienced alleged price gouging and, importantly, what the price was after the declared state of emergency.
According to the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups, an alliance of U.S. and Canadian nonprofits advocates for consumer protection, public health and transportation, price gouging laws vary by state, but a general rule of thumb is increases higher than 20% may meet the definition.
Pull out your phone and snap some photos of the product you suspect may be gouged. This can improve your report and aid the investigation, according to the U.S. PIRG.
What does filing a complaint with the attorney general’s office do?
Generally, it enables the attorney general to start investigating and potentially build a case against a price gouging company or business down the road if necessary.
Thursday, while delivering a news conference to announce the state of emergency, Beshear said he’d checked with Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office about how many general price gouging reports it had received. It was 263, Beshear said.
Of those, 22 involved price gouging of products 10% higher than the prevailing wage for the product at the time, Beshear said.
As of Thursday, automobile group AAA reported the average price for a gallon of regular-grade gasoline in Kentucky was exactly $4.68.
The previous high record for regular fuel in the state was set only a few weeks ago on June 11 at $4.79 per gallon.
Thursday, Beshear seemed to be pointing the finger at Cameron — a Republican vying to be Kentucky’s next governor in 2023 — for not doing enough to go after price gougers.
Cameron has previously shot back with his own response.
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