Indiana lawmakers say
they'll propose legislation in coming weeks to better protect consumers who
are gouged at the fuel pump during an emergency. Some motorists paid up to
$10 a gallon after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The Administrative Rules
Oversight Committee, which acts as a watchdog over state agencies, voted Nov.
13 to pursue legislation to fine tune the current law on price gouging - a
proposal that could include tougher penalties, especially in times of an emergency.
The Indiana attorney
general's office received more than 3,000 phone calls complaining about high
prices after the attacks. Attorney General Stephen Carter, who appeared before
the committee, said he launched investigations into 129 fuel stations. Fifty-four
stations have admitted charging consumers more than $2.50 a gallon - the price
determined to be excessive. Many of those are offering refunds or are donating
money to charity. Twenty-two others are still under investigation while 53
had been cleared of violations.