Higher gas prices: What can and can’t be done

Copyright, the Associated Press. July 16, 2015
(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Is there something illegal about the hike in gasoline prices this week? Maybe!

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says we don’t have an anti-gouging statute in the state, But Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act is supposed to prohibit gasoline dealers from colluding with each other on price. He says, “Because everyone can just watch other people’s prices go up and then can just decide then to match it. That’s not illegal.

DeWine admits that’s a tough case to make though. He was in Youngstown for a Regional Chamber of Commerce event.

The lowest gasoline price two days ago was under $2. On Thursday, a few stations were posting $3 prices acccording to the Gas Buddy website.

U.S. Senator Rob Portman says it’s unacceptable that prices jump like that. He thinks the answer should be home grown. “The more we produce here the more you’re gonna see a leveling off on that price. And the predictibility on that price going forward.” Portman was in town touring General Extrusions in Boardman and meeting with local business people.

Still, DeWine encourages anyone suspecting of something criminal to contact his office and his staff will look into it.

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