BOSTON (WHDH) - As gas prices reach an all-time high in Massachusetts, one of the state’s top officials is calling for an investigation into potential price gouging at the pump.
Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin said he’s asking Attorney General Maura Healey to investigate possible price gouging using the state’s consumer protection law. A spokesperson for Healey said she has received a few complaints about gas prices and is monitoring the situation.
Galvin said he has no proof that gas stations are jacking up prices to make windfall profits, but said he is suspicious of rapid price increases.
“What has changed in 24 hours, in some cases the same day? Prices went up in the same location,” Galvin said. “I’m not advocating for price control, what I am advocating for is price scrutiny.”
A state industry group spokesperson said crude oil and gasoline markets are related but separate, and gas station owners are also paying high prices — and he “categorically” denied any gouging at gas stations.
“This is a very painful time for retailers, prices going up makes margins next to nothing,” said Jonathan Shaer, executive director of the New England Convenience Store and Energy Marketers Council. “I would say categorically there is no price gouging going on in the Commonwealth.”
But Galvin said if gas station owners aren’t gouging, they should have no problem proving it.
“If they have nothing to fear, they should have no problem with their books and records being looked at,” Galvin said.
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