With soaring gas prices exceeding $4 a gallon in many places throughout New York, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries today announced passage of legislation to help put a stop to price gouging at the pump by prohibiting more than one increase in the price of gasoline in any 24-hour period.
"All you have to do is drive by a gas station or turn on the news to know that fuel prices are on the rise," said Silver (D-Manhattan). "Hard working men and women are having a hard enough time making ends meet, and now they have to deal with excessive profiteering from those who want to take advantage of the volatility in the price of gasoline. With the passage of this legislation we are standing up for New York's working class families, families that don't need their transportation costs to rise even higher."
The legislation (A.1970) prohibits gasoline prices from being adjusted at the pump multiple times daily on the same lot of gasoline, which was purchased wholesale at a fixed price.
"By raising prices throughout the day, unscrupulous merchants are often dramatically increasing costs to the consumer absent an increase in cost to the merchant," explained Jeffries (D-Brooklyn), the bill's prime sponsor. "Particularly in metropolitan areas where gas sales competition is fierce, this legislation protects consumers from those predatory practices and unscrupulous gas distributors."
The legislation passed 111 to nine (unofficial).