Gov. Cuomo tries to ensure gasoline availability during disasters and to protect from price gouging
Friday, February 22, 2013 - 9:38 am

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has focused on gasoline this week with two efforts, one proposing legislation to improve availability of gasoline during disasters and another directing state agencies to protect consumers from price gouging as the price of gasoline rises beyond $4 a gallon.

The legislation he is proposing would require back-up electric power at critical gas stations, preventing long lines and station closures in the event of power outages.

The proposed law, inspired by the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, would require many gas stations, such as those near highways and along hurricane evacuation routes, to install transfer switches and have a generator up and running within 24 hours of an outage.

About half of the gas stations in the state would be covered under the proposal. Small stations could apply for an exemption.

And Cuomo has directed the state Department of State and Department of Agriculture and Markets to work together to protect against potential unfair practices at gasoline pumps as fuel costs rise.

The Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection has launched a toll-free hotline and website for New Yorkers to report suspected price gouging at gas stations.

New Yorkers can now report sudden and unexpected increases in retail gas prices by calling the gas pricing hotline at (800) 214-4372.

In addition, the Division of Consumer Protection has also created an online consumer complaint form that New Yorkers can use to report suspected price gouging or concerns about improper delivery of quantity. The website also includes tips to help consumers save money at the gas pump.

Consumers who wish to file a complaint can visit http://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/consumer_resources/gas_gouging.....