Michigan’s attorney general is warning gas station owners against price gouging.
Gasoline prices jumped dramatically this week after a problem was reported at an oil refinery in Indiana. Michigan’s average price per gallon is three dollars, up 50 cents since last week.
Attorney General Bill Schuette has sent a letter to British Petroleum, the owner of the refinery, and other oil companies advising them of the need for transparency when dealing with outages and other unexpected events.
Michigan’s consumer protection law bars retailers from charging “grossly” excessive prices or price fixing.
“As Labor Day weekend approaches, the effects of an outage at a major Indiana petroleum refinery, combined with additional factors, means Michigan families are seeing an increase in the price at the pump. These circumstances do not constitute a free pass for gas stations to gouge consumers,” says Schuette.
Schuette’s actions are being praised by State Senator John Proos, R-St. Joseph, who earlier this week called on the attorney general to look into the price spike.
“It concerns me that one facility in Indiana can cause a billion-dollar ripple effect in Michigan just weeks before the popular Labor Day weekend,” Proos said.
Michigan’s spike in gasoline prices comes as world crude oil prices are at a six-year low.