September 12, 2001


Ronald George (973) 504-6327

State to Survey Gas and Oil Prices

NEWARK - Acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco has asked the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs to investigate reports of alleged price gouging at gas stations in New Jersey. These reports have surfaced in the wake of yesterday's terrorist attacks. In addition, the Acting Governor requested that Consumer Affairs investigate reports of possible price gouging in sales of home heating oil.

In response, Attorney General John J. Farmer, Jr. and New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Director Mark S. Herr have ordered the State Office of Weights and Measures, county offices of Weights and Measures and county Consumer Affairs officials to sweep gas stations in all 21 counties to determine if these reports are true.

If dramatic and unnecessary price increases for gasoline or home heating oil are discovered, Consumer Affairs will prosecute price gougers for unconscionable commercial business practice under the Consumer Fraud Act.

Consumers are encouraged to call Consumer Affairs' Consumer Service Center at (800) 242-5846 to report actual incidences of price increases. Consumers can also file complaints at the Consumer Affairs' Web site:

"We would hope that no one in New Jersey would attempt to exploit this tragedy for monetary gain," Acting Governor DiFrancesco said.

"During the gasoline survey, Weights and Measures officials will go from gas station to gas station throughout New Jersey in search of instances where gas prices have substantially increased within the last 24 hours," Farmer said.

"If someone does try to greedily profit from the fears of our citizens, rest assured, we will prosecute," Herr said.

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Posted September 2001