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Investigators to monitor for gas price gouging as hurricane strikes Gulf Coast

August 29, 2012

Online Staff Report

CHICAGO — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) put Illinois gas retailers on notice that her office will be monitoring stations for price gouging as Hurricane Isaac bears down on the Gulf Coast in advance of Labor Day weekend.

Attorney General Madigan noted that under state law her office can investigate gas prices if a natural disaster occurs, such as a hurricane, which disrupts gasoline supply and price gouging occurs related to that supply disruption.

Investigators with Madigan’s office will monitor retail price increases to determine whether they are justified by a spike in wholesale prices or are the result of illegal gas gouging.

As the holiday weekend approaches, Illinois drivers are likely to see higher prices at the pump due in part to Hurricane Isaac,” Madigan said. “But I’m putting retailers on notice that these circumstances are not an excuse to gouge customers at the pump. My office will be closely monitoring gas prices to ensure gas station owners are operating legally.”

Madigan investigators to meet with BP officials on recall of contaminated gas

Madigan also announced that as part of an ongoing investigation her office will meet with BP officials Friday, Aug. 31, about the recent recall of contaminated gasoline supplied to Chicago-area retailers.

While it is now widely known that BP gas stations sold contaminated gas, Madigan said she remained concerned that consumers who purchased gas at other retailers, such as Speedway, Thorntons, Road Ranger, Citgo, Sam’s Club or Meijer stores, may not be aware that those retailers were also selling the contaminated BP-supplied fuel.

From what we’ve learned, this problem was not isolated to just BP gas stations,” Madigan said. “Other retailers that receive gasoline from BP’s supply chain also potentially sold the contaminated gas to their customers. My office is meeting with BP officials on Friday to get to the bottom of this situation so that we can ensure that all Illinois consumers are appropriately reimbursed for any damage done to their cars after having bought BP’s bad gas.”

Madigan urged consumers who suspect they may have purchased contaminated BP gasoline on or after Aug. 13 to call the BP claims hotline at 1 (800) 333-3991 or 1 (800) 599-9040, or visit www.bpresponse.com to file a claim for reimbursement of fuel or repair costs.

Posted Aug. 29, 2012

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