The New York attorney general's office is keeping an eye out for gasoline price gouging after the Colonial Pipeline was shutdown for several days following a major hack of the company.
The pipeline is back online, but delivery is not expected to return to full capacity for several days, and the hack caused some temporary supply issues in parts of the country as well as panic buying.
Attorney General Letitia James, in a statement Thursday morning, warned businesses to not attempt to take advantage of the situation. State law bars sellers of fuel and other necessary goods from excessively increasing prices during a market disruption, including supply shortages, in order to generate a windfall profit.
"As New Yorkers continue to suffer the economic impact of the COVID-19 public health crisis, the last thing their wallets can afford is the price gouging of fuel from those seeking to unconscionably take advantage of another crisis," James said. "To be clear, the price gouging of fuel in New York state will not be tolerated for a moment. If our office sees profiteers take advantage of consumers by boosting prices to excess levels, we will not hesitate to take legal action. Last year, the state granted our office additional authority to stop those seeking to unlawfully profit off an emergency, so we will use every tool at our disposal to stop illegal actors and secure relief for consumers who have been overcharged for gasoline."
The average price of a gallon of gasoline in upstate New York and suburban counties remains under $3 and just above $3 in New York City on Thursday morning, according to Gasbuddy.