Washington, DC - Attorney General Robert J. Spagnoletti is urging residents to prepare for a rise in gasoline prices in the wake of hurricane Katrina. Although the disruption in gasoline supplies caused by hurricane Katrina may justify a rise in local gasoline prices, Mr. Spagnoletti said, "Consumers should be on the look out. Some gasoline sellers may be tempted to take unconscionable advantage of consumers or reach illegal agreements to raise prices. Residents can help themselves by doing some comparison shopping before filling up their tanks."
Before paying at the pump, visit several gas stations or check prices online. View the following reported prices of gasoline at stations in DC on this website: WashingtonDCGasPrices.com. Actual consumers submitted the listed prices shown on the site.
Attorney General Spagnoletti also warned that price gouging is a violation District law. "It is a violation of the District's consumer protection law for a gas station to charge what, under the circumstances, is an unconscionably high price for gas. It is a violation of the District's antitrust law for competing oil companies or gas stations to agree on or coordinate their pricing." Violators of the consumer protection law could face penalties of $1,000 per violation and be required to pay consumer restitution. Companies found guilty of price fixing could face criminal charges under both District and federal law. Report any suspected violations of the District's consumer protection or antitrust law to the Attorney General's Consumer Hotline at (202) 442-9828.