Friday, September 12, 2008

Panic Buying or Price Gouging For Gas?

UPDATE: WATE-TV notes that it is up to individuals to report price gouging, and then that complaint gets passed on and on --
To file a complaint about possible gas gouging in Tennessee, people can call (615)-741-4737 or click here.

The department turns complaints over to the state attorney general who determines whether to investigate or prosecute."

It's highly unlikely the state would ever, ever dare make an accusation much less conduct an investigation and that's pretty pathetic. Today Gov. Bredesen offered limp support for shortages and said nothing about checking on the rampant gouging:

The Environmental Protection Agency has waived specific fuel standards that are imposed during summer months on some Tennessee counties to help control emissions from motor vehicles.

As anyone can see from the post below, when prices increase by $1 or more in less than 12 hours - without any new shipment of supplies provided at a higher cost to retailers -- that is the very definition of price gouging, isn't it?

Sadly, layers of protective departmental procedures insure you'll may more and to hell with your complaints. The policy of summer gas and winter gas mixtures (which vary state to state, and region to region) is yet another way to insure that supplies are always offered at higher prices and constantly shifting supply rates.

Lines were rather long at gas stations near here and prices are hitting record highs - some prices were jumping as I sat and watched, even though they were not receiving any new shipments of gasoline.

The BP Station on the West A.J. Highway, the last one in Hamblen County before crossing into Jefferson County, had regular at $4.59, mid-level at $4.70 and premium at $4.90. The driver of a tanker truck told clerks this morning they would be lucky to get another visit on Monday, more likely it would be Thursday.

Watching a few stations all within eyesight of each other inside Jefferson City, prices jumped over the course of a half-hour period. The low price at Walmart was at $3.89 and went to $3.98; at the Food City station, the price went from $3.88 to $3.94 (imagine sitting in line and watching the price climb before you can reach the pumps); the Mobile Station had prices from $3.98 to $4.23 and they were changing the signs as I passed by; and the Shell Station in town had prices at $4.50, $4.60 and $4.70.

On Wednesday of this week the average price among these stations was $3.55.


  1. Ever since them buildings in New York spontaneously imploded seven years ago we have had a destabilized economy. Whoever initiated this was in the know that this would happen. We have been sold out by some very powerful people.

    I have been stocking ammo for the revolution, but I can't afford more guns...that's how they get you.

  2. OXYMORON6:43 PM

    Is it just a coincidence but are the states where the prices exploded pretty much locked in Republicna states where Sunday School Teachers dream of blowing a Oil Company CEO?