Georgia governor signs order against price gouging

September 12, 2008

ATLANTA - If you price gouge in Georgia, you will have to pay the price. Governor Sonny Perdue has signed an executive order, officially activating a state statue against raising prices too high in times of an emergency. President Bush has already declared a state of emergency in Texas and Louisiana.

Below is the official news release from Governor Perdue's office:

ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue signed an Executive Order today activating Georgia’s price gouging statute to protect Georgia consumers from unlawful increases in gas prices and other products.

“The threat of Hurricane Ike has disrupted the production of distribution of gasoline, which will have an effect on prices,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “However, we expect the prices that Georgians pay at the pump to be in line with the prices retailers are paying. We will not tolerate retailers taking advantage of Georgians during a time of emergency.”

Citizens are asked to report any suspected incidences of price gouging to the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs at (404) 651-8600 or (800) 869-1123.

Georgia’s price gouging statute prevents retailers from selling goods or services at an unreasonable or egregious price. Georgia’s price gouging statute does not prevent price increases that accurately reflect an increase in the cost of the goods or services to the retailer, an increase in the cost of transporting the goods or services into the area, or an increase due to the market forces of supply and demand.

“Mary and I hope and pray the damage caused by Hurricane Ike will be minimal,” Governor Perdue added. “Georgians stand ready to assist our fellow Americans in any way possible as they recover from the impacts of this dangerous storm.”

The text of the Executive Order is below:

WHEREAS: Hurricane Ike has caused a natural disaster throughout much of the Gulf Coast region, thereby adversely affecting the motor fuel supplies to the State of Georgia; and

WHEREAS: Price gouging related to motor fuels is detrimental to the social and economic welfare of the citizens of Georgia; and

WHEREAS: Wholesale and retail gas prices have substantially increased in some markets in recent hours; and

WHEREAS: In the light of these circumstances, and to protect public health, safety and welfare, it is necessary to prevent price gouging using the authority vested in the Governor by virtue of O.C.G.A. Section 38-3-51.

NOW, THEREFORE, PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME AS GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF GEORGIA, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED: That a State of Emergency exists in the State of Georgia and that the O.C.G.A. Section 10-1-393.4, prohibiting price gouging, is activated.

This 12th day of September, 2008

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