Georgia and North Carolina both have price-gouging laws ...
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 09:55 AM
... and politicians in both states are feeling frustration because of "long lines at gas pumps" and a situation in which "gas supplies remain low three weeks after Hurricane Ike disrupted the north-south pipeline from Gulf Coast refineries."
Roy Cordato would not be surprised:
Consumers can blame North Carolina's
price-gouging law for the gas lines and shortages appearing in the wake
of Hurricane Ike.
"Gas station owners are afraid to raise prices in light of threats of
prosecution from state government. Because those owners
refuse to raise prices, consumers continue to flock to the pumps, and
the stations run the risk of running out of gas."
The current problem with shortages and gas lines is far different from
the situation that followed Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Cordato said.
"North Carolina had no problems with shortages or long lines at the gas
pumps after Katrina because the price system was able to work," Cordato
said. "The only difference between 2005 and 2008 is the new version of
the state's price-gouging law."
"It's against the law charge 'too much' for gas -- whatever the
government decides 'too much' means -- but it's not against the law to
run out of gas and shut down your pumps," Cordato added. "Faced with
that choice, why would a gas station owner take the risk of running
afoul of this arbitrary law?"
I'm guessing Roy hates to read that the same politicans who caused the problems "are making judgment calls about how much government should respond."
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