City Councilman: Gas Price Gouging Found On Hutch Parkway

2 CITGO Stations Jack Prices Across The Board Above $4

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Pain at the pump got more severe last week. AAA said the average cost of a gallon of gas jumped about 15 cents.

Drivers are on the lookout for price gouging, but one local official said the city is allowing it to happen right under its nose, reports CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

The price at this pump is enough to make your heart jump.

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“I was really blown away by the price!” one driver said.

It’s $4.09 a gallon for regular at the two CITGO stations on the Hutchinson River Parkway just north of the Bruckner. One driver didn’t pay attention and a fill-up cost him $63.

“Kind of in a hurry, coming back from vacation, just wanted to get where I was going, did not look,” said Tracy McMillan of Fairfield, Conn.

Aiello looked and found gas 40 cents cheaper at a nearby Hess station, 50 cents cheaper at a BP station and 60 cents cheaper at an independent station. And that has Bronx City Councilman James Vacca calling for action against the CITGO stations.

“They’re obligated to be in sync with surrounding gasoline prices in the immediate community,” Vacca said.

The CITGO stations sit on city land and operate under a deal with the Parks Department. Last summer the department warned the stations about price gouging — reminding the owner to offer “quality and price as prevail at other stations within a 5-mile radius.”

“I want the city to terminate this contract,” Vacca said, adding “$4.09 is nowhere near any gas station in the immediate vicinity, and they’re violating the terms of their agreement.”

These prices are actually an improvement over last August, when this station was caught selling gas for about 90 cents more per gallon than other stations in the area.

The owner denied gouging, telling Aiello the stations are expensive to operate because of the rent the city charges — despite their convenience on the parkway.

Some drivers told Aiello the prices at the stations are always peculiar and that they always just drive right on by.

It turns out, there’s cheaper gas at the next exit.

Late Monday the Parks Department said based on complaints it is “evaluating” prices at the CITGO stations.

How angry does this make you? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Tony Aiello
  • Bill

    This station has always been expensive. They were $3.99 a couple of weeks ago and no one was screaming. All of a sudden they go over $4 and it’s a major story. How much rent do they pay the city for operating on the Hutch? How does it compare to rent in the neighboring areas?

    • Ornlly Gumfudgen

      Gasoline price gougin? Is this the first time we have experienced somethang like this all over th US in past years?

      No price gougin goin on here folks. Not a bit of it. Never has been an never will be any price gougin.

      Now where did I leave that tooth for th tooth fairy to make me independently wealthy?

  • Chad Simpson

    It’s only price gouging if he’s the only station open with gas. If a disaster hit and all the stations were closed except him and he jacked up the price to take advantage of the situation, then that’s gouging. Let him charge whatever he wants under normal conditions. If people are too lazy to shop around, too bad.

    • CalBob

      Except for the exclusivity facet, where the gov. only allows these stations in a given area.

    • MPM

      Since when do we have to do away with basic economics during a crisis? Prices are an indicator of what’s going on in the market. If he’s the only one with a commodity, then there must be a shortage of that commodity. Higher prices force people to make a decision. In a crisis that means only those who really need the gas should buy it and use it. If prices are kept artificially low, then those who really need the commodity won’t be able to get it. Prices force people to share.

  • Jeff

    Why the fuss? Let them charge what they want. If someone wants to spend their money at CITGO, let them. This is America right? If there were such a thing as a free market, competition would drive the price down or put them out of business. What business does the government have in this- other than to collect on their contract? Oh, and by the way, it’s government that has created all the problems in the first place by means of regulations, tax loopholes and benefits, and control of our resources. Take it from an Alaskan– a state that has trillions of cubic feet of natural gas but can’t even supply it’s largest city.

  • BobSmith

    It’s not “price gouging” it’s “a lazy stupid inattentive person tax”.

  • Cyclone Oz

    LOL!!! Hope and change?!?!?!?!

    I hope gas prices don’t go above $5 a gallon because all I’ll have left is some change after buying a tank of the stuff!

  • Cyclone Oz

    It’s not just gas prices that are “skyrocketing!” Everything else is too!

    What you’ve got here is the unholy combination of Federal regulations choking energy companies to the point where they’re going out of business…AND…the Federal Reserve printing currency like know one’s business.

    The people of America voted for it…and we got it! Now…man up and take it up the wazoo without any petroleum-based lube because it’s too expensive!

  • CalBob

    Anyone willing to buy gas from Hugo Chavez deserves what they’re getting…..and the municipality that gave contracts to Citgo should be investigated as well. Why do we find it so easy to support a Communist dictator by buying his products?

  • Cyclone Oz

    LOL! We’ve allowed the 20% fringe to govern us for the last 80 years. Unless this country goes totally conservative to put these lunatics down FOR DECADES…we do not stand a chance!

    VOTE CONSERVATIVE FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE or suffer the consequences!!!!

  • Paul

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of commie ObamaSoros voters! What, were you just not paying attention when he told you his energy plans and carbon schemes would necessarily send the price of energy soaring? Think it’s bad now, wait until he shuts down even more domestic sources and gas starts approaching 5 and 6 dollars.

    You New York liberals wanted change and you got it!

    • Cyclone Oz

      Obama actually said that energy prices would necessarily “skyrocket” under his rule.

      You got what you voted for! Why complain about it?

      Do something about it next time around and vote these anti-Americans OUT!

  • ohnylumbago

    Come on now, everyone knows the price at stations ON the highway are crazy high. Those stations are for when you look down and realize you’re on ‘E’ and might not make the next exit. Or you’re loaded and don’t care what gas costs. And don’t support our enemy Hugo Chavez by buying Citgo gas.

  • Buck Keely

    If you think it’s bad now wait six months.
    Heirloom seeds “how God plants His garden”

  • Jim W.

    Local government corruption creates these gas station monopolies on highways in NJ and NY, just like it used to do with cable TV. Vote out the bums in office and elect new bums that will bring in competition.

  • Bill

    Isn’t CITGO owned by Venezuela?

  • James Gaines

    Clearly they’ve been taking cues from union members, trying the fleece the working men and women for their own gain.

  • Harpotoo

    F NYC! Can’t wait till Obama hikes it up to $5 for you folks and you OIL/GAS Hating LIEbs start shooting each other over it!

  • Andrew

    this is not a big deal to me as I am paying over $9 a gallon in the UK

    • Homie

      That’s cause you live in a nanny country that regulates every aspect of your life.

      • Big Mike

        So do we, homie…So do we…

    • Harpotoo

      Well then you’re an IDIOT!

    • Vietvet

      Well we here in the good ole USA don’t want to be anything like the Socialist in England, so these prices are unacceptable. But then it is NYC so F—k’em let them kill each other over their liberal ways.

  • Smokehouse

    NYC who would have THUK THIS? Come On IDIOTS.

  • gary

    I Know the communists at cbs think this is a case of price gouging , which makes it even harder for me to understand their thinking, because every one knows the us govt does not control the price of gas, the market does. Now whether or not that is good or bad is not the issue, the issue is that the reporters doesn’t know that

    • Harpotoo

      Obama has illegally not open up the Gulf to drilling! Has IGNORED a federal Courts ruling! That means YES the government is ADDING to the cost of what YOU PAY at the pump!

  • SayNoToCitgo

    I never buy gas at Citgo because I refuse to support Hugo Chavez. This is just another reason…

  • O.G.

    Gas Stations in prime locations have to pay a lot of money in rent. So although their wholesale cost of gas might be the same as out-of-the-way stations, they would lose money if they charged the same. If you want to want to prosecute for gouging you should start with the gas station’s landlord. However, he/she probably had to pay a lot to buy that property, so you should go after whomever sold them that property.

    • Nate

      They lease the land from NYC. “The CITGO stations sit on city land and operate under a deal with the Parks Department.”

  • EJ

    The price of something has nothing to do with how much it costs to make. In a free market economy, it is determined by supply and demand. If demand is high for a widget and the supply is low, the price will be higher. It doesnt matter how much it costs to make it.

  • jay

    Price gouging? You mean setting the price one wants to set, and allowing the public to either take it or leave it? It’s called the free market. Are top sports stars gouging the public when they charge $50 million per year to play? Why don’t you consider that a crime? People and businesses should be allowed to charge whatever they want and can get. People are (currently) free to walk away and find a better deal. Is a teenager with no skills “gouging” his employer if he is charging $9 an hour for his time? When a buyer and seller transact of their own free will, and no coercion is involved, both parties leave the deal better off in their respective opinions. The drivers who pay the $4 gas do so willingly because, in their estimation, the $4 per gallon gas beats walking, riding a bike, the subway, bus or any other mode of transportation. And to those who say the “oil companies” are making all the profits – those profits are distributed to millions of shareholders and pension funds.

    • Bijan

      Wow! Do you have like a PHD in economics? You’re so insightful I never knew about all this! And LOL @ pension funds at big oil companies.

  • Accommodator

    Oil boiler, you are either delusional or a corporate / governemt blogger. Oil companies currently pay a pitttance for oil leases, while overcharging Americans. Oil and forests do NOT belong to corporations and years of government giveaways have bankrupted our country. It is your ilk who destroyed this once great country. Clinton Gore allowed mergers of Exxon-Mobil, Chevron-Texaco, and worse yet, allowed foreigners to buy American competitiors. Royal Dutch Shell bought Pennzoil and Quaker Statea while BP bought Amoco Arco and Castrol. Oil Price fixiers should be JAILED for unAmerican activities and competition restored.

    • Big Mike

      Well, if we’re gonna start jailing people for unAmerican activities, how about we start with the one that lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

  • Sam in Sag Harbor, NY

    That’s what you get from the national gas company of the dictator Hugo Chavez

  • too rowdy

    Gas prices have to be in synch with surrounding prices? Is this political speak for price setting?

  • JohnD

    see my reply to Ryan – Above

  • mike

    let them charge whatever they want, it’s a free country (at least it was 3 years ago)

  • Adam

    In NYC a candy bar can cost $1.50 and where I live it will be 50 cents. I’m sure it sucks but no one has a gut to their head to live in NYC.

  • Bob A

    Good! All cities run by Democrats deserve the highest gas prices. Its the energy terrorist Dems that are stopping us from drilling for cheap local oil. Dems should have a 50% tax on their gas to subsidise the rest of us who want to drill!

    • Accommodator

      Cheap oil IF we drill domestically? HA! Brought to you by the same parties who fooled weak-minded Americans into invading unarmed countries with the promise of cheap petroleum. Be off with you who would charge your fellow Americans OPEC prices for our domestically produced petroleum.

  • Teresa

    It’s sick. I live in Herndon VA and last week an Exxon and a Shell had the gas set at 3.29, I went about half a mile down the road to sunocco where it was 3.09…The Shell I expect it from cause the owner is a jerk and reminds me of a Ferengy from Star Trek always lying and looking to make a buck, the Exxon I think just did it because they did. It’s a shame, Exxon lost my business for good that day, Shell never had it.

  • bob trundle

    Why in God’s name would anyone buy CITGO and put even one (1) penny in the pocket of the certified, deranged nut known as Hugo Chavez. It is beyond me.

  • HP

    What difference does it make? Everybody is out there to rip each other off if given a chance. If not the government then the gas stations :)

  • Ryan

    Price gouging by definition is when the govt sets a prices for something and a person charges more than that price. What kind of fact checking is being done on this article? Obviously the reporter is not educated, and his editor is the same, unless of course they are idiologically bent.

    I wonder when it became ok to print complete lies and misinformation. What would I expect from some NYC hacks.

    • JohnD

      According to Wilipedia
      Price gouging is a pejorative term referring to a situation in which a seller prices goods or commodities much higher than is considered reasonable or fair. In precise, legal usage, it is the name of a crime that applies in some of the United States during civil emergencies.

      The reporter was not using the term as a precise legal definition. It was using it in the common usage, as in Charging higher then reasonable. Is that too dificult for you to understand? Why are yuo defending this Citgo station? Are you a Eco-terrorist or Marxist?

      • bob

        If you pull into a gas station and fill up without paying attention to the price, that is your stupidity at work, not price gouging. They even point out in the article lower prices were just down the street.

        Let this station raise their prices however much they want to, they’ll only sell gas to people willing to pay that price. If they charge ‘unreasonable’ prices for the gas, fewer people will buy it and they’ll either lower the price or go out of business.

      • Tom

        Prices are written or spoken, hence telling someone what price they can set is an infringement of their first amendment rights to free speech and a free press.

        “Gouging” means “They set their price higher than others”
        “Dumping” means “They set their price lower than others”
        “Collusion” means “They set their price the same as others”

        Obviously anyone selling anything is committing one of those ‘crimes,’ which is how we know they are BS.

    • Rosey

      My thoughts exactly.

  • doktor

    Try to buy 5 gal exactly, you will get 4.5 gal from the pump… At least 10% less…

  • George G

    The City needs money. Higher prices mean greater sales tax revenue. Don’t look for the City do do anything more than rattle their swords.

    • Justin

      Tax on gas is based on how many gallons you buy, not how much it costs. It’s a set X cents per gallon.

  • andrewskyman

    But of course… it’s NY City. Don’t they “price gouge” everything?!!!!! hahaha …what the freak do you expect?

    Then again, maybe they’ll start a new UNION to straighten it out! hahahahabwaaaaBWAAAAAAAA !!!!!

  • Accommodator

    When will Americans wake up to the injustice in THIS country? The USA is one of the worlds top oil producing country, producing over half of our Nations needs. Why are we paying OPEC prices for our domestically produced petroleum? CORRUPTION by two ruling parties must end if there is to be an economic recovery. Like water and food, Petroleum is a National resource.and citizens should NOT be exploited by out-of-control corporations.

  • Kile Anderson

    Exactly how is it gouging? They can charge $100 a gallon if they want to. If someone wants to pay that, good for them. If you don’t want to pay that, go to the next exit. This is a non-story.

    • Accommodator

      Price fixing used to be illegal in this country before corruption set in. Petroleum is a national resource and it belongs to the people, NOT the ruling elite parties. In the countries Democrats and Republicans hate, like Venezuela and Iran, petrol costs around 80 cents per gallon (to cover the costs of extraction, refining, marketing and distribution. The difference between 80 cents and what AMERICANS are paying is simply CORRUPT. THe USA is NOT a member of OPEC. WHy are we forced to pay OPEC prices for our domestic petroleum? Why do rebellions against this countries friendly dictators abroad cause oil prices here to rise on gas already in the pipeline? CORRUPTION!

      • oil boiler for 32 years

        Accommodator, you sound more like an A-communist-dater… the oil does not belong to the people any more than iron ore, sugar cane, lumber (forests) or any other natural resource that is brought to market. Corporations pay to lease the property where they drill, whether from the government (offshore) or private individuals (know anyone with an oil well on their property?).

        Price fixing is exactly what people who want to limit pricing to “reasonable” costs are shooting for – fixing the prices LOWER. The free market made this country the economic superpower that it is today. Would you rather live in the poverty that exists in Russia? Venezuela? I think not. So why don’t you think instead of spew this nonsense?

        The real tragedy is our government growing out of control trying to control everything. They try to pander to every whiney constituent out here rather than doing what makes sense to run our country intelligently. Mark my words, this will get our country into more trouble than anything.

      • Ranger01

        Accommodator – Good Job!

      • Kile Anderson

        Do you understand what a commodity is? Obviously you do not. When the supply of something in demand is threatened, such as massive political upheaval in a major oil producing region, the price of the commodity goes up.

        Petroleum is not a “national resource”. It is owned by the person who owns the property on which it is produced. That’s the way our economy works.

        You must be an Obama voting communist.

  • daryl duke

    You people better wake up and find the real culprite. Some -what west of you is a place called DC and biggest thief there is the WH.

  • D

    $4+ a gallon isn’t price gouging, it’s still a free market. But 13 Trillion national debt being forced on the citizens is gouging!

    • gommygoomy

      Hey D. I’m with you. $4.00 a Gallon is Price Gouging? What’s $30 for a Hamburger called? What about $60 for a Steak? How much is a GALLON of Milk? A pound of Butter? How about a ticket to the Ballgame, or a Broadway Show? How much are the BRIDGE TOLLS? We already know that the RENTS are TOO DAMN HIGH.
      $4.00 a Gallon, in New York?
      If you ask me, they’re practically GIVING IT AWAY.

  • Tina

    Dont use CITGO! Hugo Chavez owns them.

  • Intelligent Person

    This article is so stupid – these 2 CITGO stations are always 40-60 cents more than anywhere else. What difference does it make that it is over $4 now?

  • Econo-master

    master- your spelling is horrid, it is steal not steel… And remember you still work for us, we pull back and everyone suffers.

  • wayne

    I think you mean price gouging country wide!!!

    • BigDaddyDK

      Until you can demonstrate collusion and price fixing you cannot make a case for gouging. The price will naturally go to the level the market can bear, and people are still buying fuel. If it could be sold for less someone would undercut the competition to make more money and it would drive the price down. Pay attention sometime to the corner with two stations and watch what happens when one of them lowers the price. The other lowers their price in less than 24 hours, usually to the same price. When the price goes up at one station, the other may hold off for a day and reap the extra money from sales, then boost their price to cover the replacement cost.

  • Mike

    Here’s why I refuse to give Citgo any of my business….

    • Timuchin

      If the price was advertised $20 per gallon would you be stupid enough to buy it and admit you did?

  • johnny

    If the city was so concerned about how much we’re paying at the pump, they should consider reducing the tax on gasoline.

  • Edison Herrera

    The answer lies in our hands. All we have to do is not buy gas at these stations that are price gauging and they will eventually have to play nice and drop their prices to the level of the other stations on the area.

    • BigDaddyDK

      That’s how a free market works. Eventually they’ll have to lower the price or go out of business. It’s not gouging. Gouging would be charging an artificially high price for something in high demand, usually something that’s scarce. It oftentimes goes along with monopolistic conditions, like DeBeers and diamonds for example.

      • Bill

        Considering there is a gas surplus currently and we get the majority of our imported oil from Canada…. blaming the increases on the middle east is BS and price gouging. The gas station owners should be deported back to the third world hell holes they were born in.

  • Eddie Yount


  • CT

    Wow, 4.09!? I thought 3.50 is expensive around here.

  • ronnie from morris park

    Jimmy the weasel brought this up before and as we can see it didn’t help then and it won’t help now.

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