Senator Shirley Turner (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) has called on Governor Chris Christie and Attorney General Christopher Porrino to protect New Jersey consumers against price gouging at the gas pump. Gas prices in New Jersey have spiked since Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and Louisiana last week, causing catastrophic flooding and the closure of refineries and the pipeline that supply fuel to the East Coast.
“Unfortunately, there are people and businesses that will take advantage of consumers when catastrophes hit,” Turner said. “Some retailers today are charging over $3 per gallon for regular gasoline, when the price was as low as $2.15 a week ago in Mercer County. New Jersey is home to a number of refineries, and our high costs should not be attributed to the closure of the pipeline. We need to prevent any pricing improprieties that are being driven by greed.”
Turner has received complaints from constituents who noticed a significant jump in prices over the last week. “We need to be alert and make sure that retailers are not taking advantage of the disaster by gouging consumers,” Turner said.
New Jersey law prohibits retail dealers from raising the selling price of gasoline more than once in a 24 hour period. In 2008, Turner sponsored legislation to increase the penalties for retail dealers that are repeat offenders.
Turner is urging consumers who believe that price gouging is occurring to file an online complaint with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. Complaints may also be made through the Consumer Affairs emergency hotline at (973) 504-6240.