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Legislators Say No to Gas Price Gouging

A new state law co-sponsored by local legislators permits the state to better analyze gasoline price patterns that will prevent motorists from price gouging after natural disasters. "This is not a panacea," said Rep. Alfred Camillo. " But it will protect drivers from gas prices that can spike after a natural disaster."

The bill was signed by Gov. M. Jodi Rell and co-sponsored by Reps. Camillo, R-Greenwich and Jim Shapiro, D-Stamford. Camillo said the bill deals with abnormal market disruptions and businesses that mark up their gas prices to an abnormal amount after disasters like the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to the law, "no seller during the period of abnormal market disruption or during any period in which an imminent abnormal market disruption is reasonably anticipated shall sell or offer to sell an energy resource for an amount that represents an unconscionably excessive price."

The attorney general is empowered to make sure the law is followed. Shapiro could not be reached for comment but Camillo said his help was important in getting the bill approved. "This bill is pro-small business," said Camillo. "Eighty percent of our jobs are from small businesses and we need to protect them."

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