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N.C. AG paying attention to price gouging as gas prices climb

Early Monday morning, some spots were seen with prices well over $4 a gallon.
Early Monday morning, some spots were seen with prices well over $4 a gallon.
Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 6:00 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 7, 2022 at 6:04 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – As residents get ready to head out the door, chances are some may have to stop for gas.

If it’s been a week or so, they’re likely to experience some sticker shock. Gas prices have soared over the past week. Early Monday morning, some spots were seen with prices well over $4 a gallon.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is paying attention to those rising prices. The state remains under Executive Order No. 116, which is the COVID-19 state of emergency act.

Any state of emergency allows the attorney general to initiate price gouging investigations. Stein said there’s no set percentage or standard increase in costs when it comes to price gouging. It’s all based on how the price was arrived at.

Gas prices have soared over the past week. Early Monday morning, some spots were seen with prices well over $4 a gallon.

Drivers who think they are being taken advantage of can file a complaint with the attorney general’s office and Stein’s investigators will determine if it’s price gouging.

If so, they will take action.

Stein said don’t expect instant results. He said price gouging investigations take time to resolve.

For example, he said his office just recently resolved some gas station price gouging complaints from the Colonial Pipeline shutdown which was last May.

Related: N.C. Attorney General reaches settlement with Charlotte gas station accused of price gouging during Colonial Pipeline shutdown

In North Carolina, as of 3:30 a.m. Monday, the state average for gas is $3.92 a gallon, according to AAA. That’s up 4 cents in the last 24 hours and up 71 cents from one month ago.

The national average surpassed $4 a gallon on Monday.

Some South Carolina counties have some of the lowest prices. The statewide average there is $3.88 a gallon, but York County’s average price is $3.79 a gallon

AAA is predicting prices could hit $5 in major cities in the coming weeks.

Check WBTV’s gas tracker map for a list of the cheapest gas in your area.

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