RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The state attorney general issued subpoenas Wednesday to two more gas stations, including one in Raleigh, in connection with his office’s investigation into more than 1,300 reports of potential price gouging during the current fuel shortage.
The developments came just hours before the Colonial Pipeline Company announced their broken line in Alabama was repaired.
The company announced around 6:40 p.m. Wednesday that the bypass was connected and restarted. The company says it will take several days for fuel supplies to return to normal in markets served by the pipeline.
The legal move by the attorney general brings the number of subpoenas issued in connection to the investigation to seven. More subpoenas are expected later this week.
Consumer complaints claimed the gas stations subpoenaed Wednesday charged $4.99 per gallon or more for gas, the attorney general’s office said.
A total of about 1,340 reports of possible price gouging have been submitted, the attorney general’s office said.
“Gouging consumers during a gas shortage isn’t just unfair — it’s illegal,” Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a news release. “My office takes reports of possible price gouging seriously and we’re moving forward with our investigation.”
Consumers who believe they’ve spotted potential gas price gouging are encouraged to report it by filing a consumer complaint at ncdoj.gov or calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.
State law doesn’t provide a concrete price increase or percent price increase that constitutes price gouging. Instead, it outlaws charging a price that is “unreasonably excessive under the circumstances.”
— The Associated Press contributed to this report