ATLANTA (AP) - More than 30 Georgia gas stations have paid fines
to the state Office of Consumer Affairs over alleged price gouging
in the wake of Gulf Coast hurricanes last fall.
Some stations have to pay up to $10,000 in fines to the state, while others must refund money to customers who can prove they bought gas during the price spike. The list includes a $20,000 fine against nine Tennessee-based Pilot Travel Center stations.
The stations are among 200 the state is investigating over complaints of unfairly raising gas prices when hurricanes shuttered several Gulf Coast oil refineries and left several southern states without enough gas.
Under state law, businesses have to prove they were making the same profit with their elevated prices as they were before the governor activated the anti-gouging statute.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)