Panic at the pump

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

September 11, 2008; News 12 at 11

AUGUSTA/AIKEN - You could call it panic at the pumps. Gas stations from Aiken to South Augusta have been dealing with long lines since Thursday afternoon in response to rumors of shortages and impending price hikes.

Along the Gulf coast, ahead of Hurricane Ike, prices shot up to $4.00 and $5.00 a gallon. Also, evacuees in his path are filling up their cars as they head out of town, using more gas then usual and adding to the demand.

News 12 has taken a number of calls from people hearing rumors of a gas-line break that could cause a gas shortage, which is fueling the frenzy. That rumor is not true. There has been no gas line break.

This panic is not a new problem. The same gas panic happened all over the area and the country when the U.S. invaded Iraq. It also happened during Hurricane Katrina and a couple of years ago when hurricane after hurricane pounded Florida.

"It's not fair at all," says one gas customer.

Fair or not, the price at the pump is going up and going up fast.

"From 3 something to more than 4 dollars, yeah, that's outrageous," says another customer.

Some say so outrageous, they think it's price gouging.

"I went out yesterday and it was like $3.89, no $41.9. I had to look twice," says another customer.

"It's gouging. It's a major problem," says another customer.

News 12 investigated the price-gouging claim. Friday afternoon, South Carolina put their gas gouging law into effect.

The Attorney General's Office says criminal and civil charges could be placed on the gas station, if there is a big difference between what the price of gas should be and what it actually is. If there is a problem, you need to document all information, like price, who you talked to, get a receipt, say what the price was and what it is now.

In Georgia, there needs to be a state of emergency enacted for businesses to be charged with taking advantage of gas prices.

"I think the government needs to regulate this," says one customer.

"I don't blame them though. I went through Katrina," says another.

"I know they're trying to make money but their taking the money from the people who support them all the time," says another customer.

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  • by Anonymous Location: usa on Sep 13, 2008 at 06:41 PM
    wrdw get with it
  • by reidy Location: aiken on Sep 13, 2008 at 02:28 PM
    From what I have been reading ,people are there own worst enemies .Think first , boy cott the big boy Exon, you will see the price drop in a day or to. you can by else where, and keep your ride . You won't hurt the big boys but you will see him come down on prices .
  • by Lore Location: Martinez on Sep 13, 2008 at 10:41 AM
    Their is no Gas available @ Shell on Flowing Wells and Columbia Road, Circke K on Columbia Road and Washington Road and Enmark on Bobby Jones
  • by vaughn Location: aiken on Sep 13, 2008 at 09:05 AM
    Today you see gasoline, priced way over its value . The people that can help and stop this don't buy there gasoline , they ride in limos to and from work .And what good does it do to chase down the gougers, they have the money out of your pocket , and laughing all the way to the bank . So are the investers , you can yell till you are hoarse, the only way they can be reached is boycott them . Exon is the biggest and the first here in aiken to raise there prices I saw it . By any other gasoline , but not there's . at least you get to one of them, and still ride . and your riding should be cut in half for the other station you will use . Fight back , whimpering won't change a darn thing . Don't buy as much gasoline , don't use there convience stores, hitting them in the till will get there attention .You can do it ,just try .
  • by Michael Location: Aiken,SC on Sep 12, 2008 at 10:31 PM
    I also agree that if everyone would not act like idiots and run to the gas stations because of false rumors! Seriously! I blame the idiots and the media!
  • by richard Location: port orange fl on Sep 12, 2008 at 06:35 PM
    Oh well we are used to it in FL , milk jumping to $5 a gallon,evacuated people wiping out walmart supercenters especially-coffee. Hotel's crammed to the max at premium prices and zero ice to be found / not to mention the mad rush on plywood and the standard 2wks to reinstate electricity. Maybe when they fire off the super collider in January thing's will improve-I seriously doubt it.
  • by peter Location: augusta ga on Sep 12, 2008 at 05:34 PM
    funny in 8 hours gas goes up a dollar and in 6months it only goes down 5 cent funny isnt it ?
  • by Christy Location: Aiken on Sep 12, 2008 at 04:22 PM
    The reason we are running out of gas is because people started running to the gas tanks even when they really didn't need gas. We would have gas if it weren't for that and the gas stations probably wouldn't have a reason to go up so high on gas if people didn't act like it was the end of the world. There will be more gas!!
  • by south augusta Location: augusta on Sep 12, 2008 at 04:19 PM
    Wonder why when you look at the csra has some of the highest gas prices in the nation-including over texas which is suppose to be in line to be hit hard?
  • by Williston Person Location: 29853 on Sep 12, 2008 at 01:35 PM
    Barnwell, SC is wothout gas!Williston starting to run out! Gas in williston is now 4.49
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