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Press Releases

08/26/2011

Attorney General Announces Imminent Abnormal Market Disruption on Energy Products

Department of Consumer Protection to Monitor Claims of Excessive Pricing

 

HARTFORD, August 26 -- With Hurricane Irene set to strike Connecticut this weekend, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen is announcing an imminent abnormal market disruption in energy resources under Connecticut General Statutes Section 42-234, putting wholesalers, retailers and consumers on notice that charging unconscionably excessive prices for gasoline, heating fuels and other energy resources is prohibited.

Under the notice, posted today on the Attorney General’s website at www.ct.gov/ag/site/default.asp , the abnormal market disruption period began at 1 p.m. today and runs through midnight, Wednesday Aug. 31, unless otherwise amended.

“Consumers need to be aware that in times of anticipated market disruption on energy products, some unscrupulous market players may seek to extract excessive profits from consumers,” Attorney General Jepsen said. “If anyone suspects excessive profiteering, they should report it as described below. My office and the Department of Consumer Protection will monitor the market and consumer complaints, will act accordingly to halt any such practices, and seek penalties as needed against violators.”

“During this life-threatening emergency, we expect everyone to act responsibly in order to protect themselves, their families, their homes, and their businesses,” Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein said. “To that end, we will examine very closely any reported instances of unconscionably excessive pricing, and will act swiftly and determinedly to rectify the matter.”

Anyone wishing to report what they believe to be profiteering or unconscionably excessive pricing on gasoline or other fuels during the abnormal market period is urged to contact the Department of Consumer Protection by emailing food.standards@ct.gov.  Please include the business name, its location, and the prices you observed.  Persons may also call the Department’s Hotline at 1-800-842 2649 during business hours and at 860-713-6160 after hours and on the weekend.

Commissioner Rubenstein encouraged consumers to be prudent in the amount of gasoline they purchase during this time period.

“Everyone will benefit if consumers don’t rush out to buy all the fuel they can,” Rubenstein said. “By alleviating the stress on supply, the market should remain more stable.”

Attorney General Jepsen and Commissioner Rubenstein thanked the Independent Connecticut Petroleum Association for drawing attention to this issue.

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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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