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JHeath
post Sep 15 2008, 02:29 PM
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I've found the Indiana code relating to this topic, and wanted to post it here for your review and discussion. If you choose to file a complaint, you may do so through the Office of the Indiana Attorney General. Enjoy the "light" reading.

http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title4/ar6/ch9.1.html

QUOTE
Information Maintained by the Office of Code Revision Indiana Legislative Services Agency
09/15/2008 04:31:03 PM EDT
IC 4-6-9.1
Chapter 9.1. Price Gouging in Declared Emergencies

IC 4-6-9.1-1
Period for which emergency declared
Sec. 1. (a) Sections 1 through 7 of this chapter apply to the period during which an emergency is declared and the twenty-four (24) hours before the declaration by the governor under IC 10-14-3-12 or IC 10-14-3-13.
( b ) The definitions in IC 10-14-3 apply to this chapter.
As added by P.L.124-2002, SEC.1. Amended by P.L.2-2003, SEC.11.


IC 4-6-9.1-2
"Price gouging" defined
Sec. 2. For purposes of this chapter, "price gouging" means charging a consumer an unconscionable amount for the sale of fuel. Price gouging occurs if:
(1) the amount charged grossly exceeds the average price at which fuel was readily obtainable within the retailer's trade area during the seven (7) days immediately before the declaration of emergency; and
(2) the increase in the amount charged is not attributable to cost factors to the retailer, including replacement costs, taxes, and transportation costs incurred by the retailer.
As added by P.L.124-2002, SEC.1.


IC 4-6-9.1-3
Powers and duties of attorney general
Sec. 3. The attorney general has the following powers and duties regarding price gouging:
(1) To investigate complaints received claiming price gouging.
(2) To seek injunctive relief as appropriate.
(3) To seek restitution for victims of price gouging.
(4) To institute an action to levy and collect a civil penalty.
As added by P.L.124-2002, SEC.1.


IC 4-6-9.1-4
Use of information obtained in investigation
Sec. 4. (a) Information obtained during the attorney general's investigation under this chapter, including information from a person who responds to the investigation and designates the information as confidential, must be maintained as confidential until the investigation is completed by the attorney general and a course of action is determined. The attorney general may not make known in any manner any information obtained in the course of the investigation to persons other than those specified in subsection ©. Once the investigation is completed, if there is an agreed upon settlement or if charges are filed, the information becomes public.
( b ) The attorney general shall make available to the public, upon request, aggregate information concerning complaints of price

gouging. The aggregate data may not identify particular persons or locations under investigation.
( c ) For purposes of this section, references to the attorney general include other individuals designated in writing and acting on behalf of the attorney general during the investigation. A person designated shall preserve the confidentiality of information under subsection (a).
(d) A person who is served with a request for information, a subpoena to give testimony orally or in writing, or a request or order to produce books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, agreements, or other documents or records under this chapter may apply to any court for protection against abuse or hardship.
As added by P.L.124-2002, SEC.1.


IC 4-6-9.1-5
Action brought by attorney general
Sec. 5. If an investigation by the attorney general results in a finding of price gouging, the attorney general may bring an action in a circuit or superior court with jurisdiction in the county where the price gouging allegedly occurred. If the court finds that the retailer engaged in price gouging, the court may assess a civil penalty against the retailer. The civil penalty may not be more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) per transaction.
As added by P.L.124-2002, SEC.1.


IC 4-6-9.1-6
Civil penalties
Sec. 6. Civil penalties collected under section 6 of this chapter must be deposited in the state general fund.
As added by P.L.124-2002, SEC.1.


IC 4-6-9.1-7
Preemption of local government powers in price gouging emergencies
Sec. 7. This chapter preempts the power of local governments to regulate pricing of commodities under a declaration of emergency:
(1) under IC 10-14-3-12;
(2) under IC 10-14-3-13; or
(3) by a local government.
As added by P.L.124-2002, SEC.1. Amended by P.L.2-2003, SEC.12.




This post has been edited by southsider2k7: Oct 30 2008, 08:06 AM
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Ang
post Sep 15 2008, 03:01 PM
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Considering we are usually 5-10 cents BELOW the national average, I would say MC fuel retailers are gouging.


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Southsider2k12
post Sep 16 2008, 08:47 AM
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Thanks for the info.

Also as an FYI, futures for gasoline are now under $2.50. Add in taxes and a little profit, and MC's gas prices should be about $3.10 to $3.20.
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Southsider2k12
post Sep 16 2008, 08:51 AM
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QUOTE(Ang @ Sep 15 2008, 04:01 PM) *

Considering we are usually 5-10 cents BELOW the national average, I would say MC fuel retailers are gouging.


They do have a complaint link in there, and I sent one in.
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Roger Kaputnik
post Sep 16 2008, 11:58 AM
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I like seeing the reports by SSider on the futures prices of gasoline.


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JHeath
post Sep 16 2008, 12:07 PM
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QUOTE(southsider2k7 @ Sep 16 2008, 09:47 AM) *

Thanks for the info.

Also as an FYI, futures for gasoline are now under $2.50. Add in taxes and a little profit, and MC's gas prices should be about $3.10 to $3.20.

You really think so? That would mean that even prior to the arrival of Ike, we were probably being taken advantage of...just willingly so. Why does it take something like this to open our eyes?

I've also filed a complaint.

This post has been edited by JHeath: Sep 16 2008, 12:13 PM
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Southsider2k12
post Sep 16 2008, 12:21 PM
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QUOTE(JHeath @ Sep 16 2008, 01:07 PM) *

You really think so? That would mean that even prior to the arrival of Ike, we were probably being taken advantage of...just willingly so. Why does it take something like this to open our eyes?

I've also filed a complaint.


It was a bit higher than it has been historically. Usually we are somewhere between 60-80 cents over the futures price, depending on things like season and local refinery issues. (Yes I am the loser that pays attention to these correlations, highly unscientifically of course) Futures are down 40-50 cents since the storm, so the pre-storm prices weren't as bad as the post storm prices. When we were in the $3.60/gal range before the storm that was pretty close to right. As the storm approached and we went back over $4/gal, that is when it got out of whack. $4.40 is a blatant rip off IMO.
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Southsider2k12
post Sep 16 2008, 12:23 PM
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QUOTE(Roger Kaputnik @ Sep 16 2008, 12:58 PM) *

I like seeing the reports by SSider on the futures prices of gasoline.


no problem. I look at these numbers all day long at work.
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Southsider2k12
post Sep 17 2008, 07:11 AM
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Most stations in town are now down to $4.24 or 4.25, except for my new enemy gas station, the Jewel Express was still $4.36.

I would bet within 2-3 weeks we are down into the $3.50 range or lower.
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Southsider2k12
post Sep 18 2008, 08:04 AM
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We were down to $4.19 most places yesterday.
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JHeath
post Sep 18 2008, 08:23 AM
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QUOTE(southsider2k7 @ Sep 18 2008, 09:04 AM) *

We were down to $4.19 most places yesterday.

As of this morning (around 8:30am), Family Express at Coolspring & Franklin was at $4.09; Jewel was at $4.19.
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Southsider2k12
post Sep 18 2008, 08:29 AM
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QUOTE(JHeath @ Sep 18 2008, 09:23 AM) *

As of this morning (around 8:30am), Family Express at Coolspring & Franklin was at $4.09; Jewel was at $4.19.


So we are slowly getting to where we should be going. I think by Oct 1st we could see $3.25. (barring anything crazy happening.)
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Roger Kaputnik
post Sep 18 2008, 11:33 AM
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And if people keep restricting their driving. If we start driving a lot again, the prices will stabilize higher than that.


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Southsider2k12
post Sep 21 2008, 10:50 AM
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$3.98 now at most stations. $3.95 in the Pines.
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Ang
post Sep 23 2008, 01:48 PM
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That's a lot better. We're hovering around $3.40 give or take a few cents every day so you guys are falling back down to the "normal" range. Good to hear.


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Southsider2k12
post Sep 23 2008, 01:56 PM
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I saw down to $3.83 yesterday. In the meantime the futures have rebounded pretty hard so $3.25 might be a little optimistic, but $3.50 should be realistic, if nothing happens.
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Roger Kaputnik
post Sep 24 2008, 07:21 AM
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3.77 this morn.


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Ang
post Sep 24 2008, 09:23 AM
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Ours are falling too. $3.39 this morning.


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Roger Kaputnik
post Sep 24 2008, 09:55 AM
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We must continue to curtail our driving until the gas prices are driven down even more. As soon as consumption surges, the oil industry will properly perceive that a new floor has been set.


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Southsider2k12
post Sep 26 2008, 08:57 AM
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3.69 now...

Also this was pretty interesting, it could be a whole lot worse for us. It also explains why prices stayed high so long here.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...2504159_pf.html

QUOTE
Gas Shortage In the South Creates Panic, Long Lines
If Drivers Can Fill Up, They Get Sticker Shock

By Steven Mufson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 26, 2008; D01

Gasoline shortages hit towns across the southeastern United States this week, sparking panic buying, long lines and high prices at stations from the small towns of northeast Alabama to Charlotte in the wake of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

In Atlanta, half of the gasoline stations were closed, according to AAA, which said the supply disruptions had taken place along two major petroleum product pipelines that have operated well below capacity since the hurricanes knocked offshore oil production and several refineries out of service along the Gulf of Mexico.

Drivers in Charlotte reported lines with as many as 60 cars waiting to fill up late Wednesday night, and a community college in Asheville, N.C., where most of the 25,000 students commute, canceled classes and closed down Wednesday afternoon for the rest of the week. Shortages also hit Nashville, Knoxville and Spartanburg, S.C., AAA said.

Terrance Bragg, a chef in Charlotte, made it to work only because his grandfather drove from a town an hour away with a 5-gallon plastic container of fuel for him. Three of his co-workers called and said they couldn't make it.

"I drove past nine or ten gasoline stations that were out of gas," Bragg said. "I had my GPS up looking for any gas in the area, from the mom-and-pop places to the corporate gas stations. Nothing. They were all taped off."

Liz Clasen-Kelly, associate director of a homeless assistance center in Charlotte, took the bus to work yesterday. On Wednesday night, she and her husband checked five stations that had no gas, passed a long line backed up onto the interstate highway and chose not to wait at an open gas station with 50 to 60 cars still lined up after 11 p.m.

"If we had waited in that line, our car wouldn't have made it," she said, adding that the gauge was pointing to empty. The bus yesterday took her 45 minutes longer than usual. "It makes you realize how addicted you are to convenience," she said.

In Atlanta, Jonathan Tyson, a Douglasville, Ga., resident who works for a company that does training for auto and RV franchise dealerships, ran out of fuel while waiting an hour in a line about 60 cars long to fill up his Land Rover. A man from the car behind helped push Tyson's vehicle down the road.

"It was crazy," Tyson said. "People were standing on side of road with gas cans saying they'd pay the person to run a [credit] card through just to get gas so they didn't run out before they got up to the pump themselves."

The city government, which uses 10,000 gallons a day, barred the public from two stations to make sure it could keep municipal vehicles running. On Wednesday night with his fuel gauge at empty, Al T. Nottage, a senior communications specialist in the Atlanta mayor's office, looked for fuel at six stations, all closed, then called AAA and said he had run out of gasoline. It brought him two gallons, enough to get to work yesterday.

AAA spokesman John Townsend said that Colonial Pipeline, a leading supplier in the region, and the smaller Plantation Pipeline, which belongs to Kinder Morgan, were functioning below capacity because of lingering refinery problems along the Gulf coast. A spokesman for Colonial, whose Web site displays a news release from Sept. 10 before Hurricane Ike hit, did not return calls for comment.

The Energy Department said that as of Wednesday 63 percent, or 800,000 barrels a day, of production in the Gulf of Mexico was still shut down as were five refineries with a combined capacity of 1.2 million barrels a day. The refineries produce a half-million barrels of gasoline a day, or about 5 percent of the nation's total supplies. Other refineries are still working at less than full capacity. Hurricane Gustav landed Sept. 1, and Ike hit Sept. 13.

"The production loss is similar to what was lost after Hurricanes Rita and Katrina," said Anne Peebles, a Shell Oil spokeswoman. "This time the physical damage [to oil facilities] was not as great, but the down time with the storms hitting back to back is similar." She said that "more fuel is coming" as facilities gradually ramp up again, but "we do think that production availability will normalize in the next several weeks."

Townsend said that the Colonial pipeline normally carries 100 million gallons a day, traveling about 2,500 miles from Texas, Louisiana and Alabama to 267 marketing terminals across the East and Southeast. Although nearly 15 percent of the gas stations in Virginia were reporting outages last week, the Washington region has been able to tap into supplies from areas such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, which can more readily obtain supplies from tanker and other pipelines. Earlier supply problems in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Tallahassee also had eased, he said.

Other areas of the country were not so fortunate. An Atlanta Exxon dealer said that his station's allocation was only 40 percent of normal.

Mike Thornburgh, a spokesperson at QuikTrip, said that half of the gasoline retailer's 111 Atlanta area stations were open, up from a quarter last weekend. He said that QuikTrip was trying to keep stores open near commuters and schools. He said he didn't know when things would return to normal.

"I can't give a concrete answer because I don't believe anybody knows," he said.

Public officials appealed for calm as it appeared that panic buying might exacerbate supply problems if motorists try to keep more fuel than usual in their tanks. The Environmental Protection Agency suspended regulations for antipollution additives to help ease the supply situation.

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue provoked some angry comments on the Atlanta Journal Constitution Web site, which quoted him as saying that "there is ample fuel in the city" and that some of the panic was "self-induced."

"Perdue says we got ample gas supplies," wrote one reader. "Then why is it that every gas station in my area is out of gas. Some have been out for over 4 days."

Prices were high in cities hurt by shortages, though not as high as they were immediately after the hurricanes. In Charlotte, price ranged from $3.84 to a high of $4.31 a gallon for regular gasoline. AAA's Townsend said that travelers to the affected areas should "be prepared for sticker shock, Southern style."

Staff writer Binyamin Appelbaum and special correspondent Melanie Lasoff Levs in Atlanta contributed to this article.
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