NEW YORK (CBS 2) – Gas prices were going through the roof, soaring past four dollars a gallon in some areas. Drivers, not surprisingly, were furious, and now some state lawmakers are stepping in, Jay Dow reports.
While analysts debate the legitimacy of a connection between rising gas prices here in the U.S. and unrest in Libya, drivers in our area continue their never-ending search for a bargain at the pump.
In many cases, they’re coming up empty.
As we survey local gas prices in our CBS2 Mobile-2 vehicle, drivers were sounding off. “It’s crazy. I’m paying $38.38 on not even a full tank of gas. It’s crazy,” one resident said.
Asked if we’re going to see five dollars a gallon, Maspeth driver Angel Cruz said “I hope not. Otherwise, I’ll have to get a smaller car.”
State Senator Eric Adams and Assemblyman David Weprin said the price of gas is getting out of hand. “Prices are going up on a daily basis,” said Weprin.
Which brings us to another concern: price gouging. “Unscrupulous owners are taking advantage of the public not knowing what the actual price should be,” Weprin said.
“We are on the verge of $5 a gallon,” Sen. Adams said.
Both lawmakers announced a public awareness campaign on Sunday to let New Yorkers know that the New York State Consumer Protection Board is the pace to turn if they suspect they’re being ripped off at the pumps.
“If you find there is too much water content in your gas, or finding the price gouging increasing rapidly in your community or your area, we want you to call the Consumer Protection Board,” Adams said.
Gas retailers said they are paying higher wholesale prices and have no choice but to pass it on.
The good news? New York City officials said 97-percent of the 10,000 they inspected were price-accurate.