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Press Releases

08/30/2011

Abnormal Market Disruption on Energy Products Extended; Consumers Urged to Conserve Gasoline

 

     For immediate release                                                                                      TUESDAY AUG. 30, 2011

HARTFORD -- Attorney General George Jepsen has extended the notice of abnormal market disruption for energy resources to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, and the Department of Consumer Protection is advising consumers to conserve gasoline as many service stations across the state remain without power.

The amended notice, issued under Connecticut General Statutes Section 42-234, puts wholesalers, retailers and consumers on notice that charging unconscionably excessive prices for gasoline, heating fuels and other energy resources is prohibited. It had been scheduled to expire on midnight Wednesday.

“We have extended the market disruption period because much of the state remains without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. That includes as many as one-third of all gasoline stations, according to recent estimates.  It will take days or even weeks for the damage to be cleared and electric service restored. We want to protect consumers during this abnormal period,” Attorney General Jepsen said.

Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein urged consumers to help stabilize markets by conserving gasoline. “With the gasoline supply emergency extended in Connecticut until Tuesday, I want to reassure residents that a few precautionary measures will assure that fuel supplies are sufficient for normal use,” Rubenstein said.

“I am urging everyone to limit driving when possible and to put off topping off or filling up more than they normally do. These simple actions will keep our fuel distribution outlets running smoothly. We are asking everyone to pay attention to their driving habits, and conserve where you can – it just makes sense,” Rubenstein said.

Jepsen said his office and the Department of Consumer Protection are monitoring the market and consumer complaints, some of which have already been reported. If anyone suspects unconscionably excessive pricing or profiteering, they should call the Department of Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-842 2649 during business hours and at 860-713-6160 after hours and on the weekend; or e-mailing food.standards@ct.gov.  Please include the business name, its location, and the prices you observed. 

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CONTACT: Susan E. Kinsman, Office of the Attorney General; susan.kinsman@ct.gov; 860-808-5324; 860-478-9581 (cell)

Claudette Carveth, Department of Consumer Protection; claudette.carveth@ct.gov; 860-713-6022

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