States Concerned About Reports of Price Gouging

9-1-05 - Both Governors in Texas and Oklahoma say they're watching for price gouging when it comes to gas prices.

With prices at the pump topping three dollars in some places, including Marietta, officials are paying close attention. The Texas Attorney general said there is a significant loss of production because of Hurricane Katrina.

If you think you see a case of price gouging, Texas does have a toll free complaining line: 1-800-252-8011.

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee said at a news conference in Texas on Wednesday, that he is concerned about reports of gasoline price gouging as a result of the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina.

He plans to hold a hearing Tuesday to look at the hurricane's impact on wholesale and retail energy markets.

"I am very concerned that because of the hurricane, which is an act of God almost of biblical proportions ... I think a very good case can be made today that some retailers have begun to take advantage of that and begun to gouge the American people," said Barton, R-Ennis.

Barton also said the hurricane's impact on oil production should serve as a "wake up call" for Americans and could be the possible "silver lining" in the disaster.

"It may finally bring home to the American people how fragile our energy sector is and our energy infrastructure."