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Price Gouging

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NEWS
By THOMAS SOWELL | November 17, 2005
A newspaper headline - "Lawmakers Struggle to Define Gasoline Price `Gouging'" - shows how phony the current congressional jihad against the oil companies is. "Price gouging" is one of those phrases that evoke strong emotions but have no definition. Where particular states have passed laws against "price gouging," their different definitions reveal how slippery and arbitrary the concept is. Kansas attempts to define price gouging as selling at prices more than 25 percent higher than they were before some disaster.
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NEWS
By Wailin Wong and Joshua Boak and Wailin Wong and Joshua Boak,Chicago Tribune | September 15, 2008
Hurricane Ike unleashed its fury at gas pumps yesterday, with prices surging even as crude oil dropped to a five-month low of less than $100 a barrel. The hurricane shuttered refineries located around the Gulf of Mexico, limiting the availability of gasoline. That drove prices for gasoline upward. But without refineries to process crude oil into gasoline, demand for oil fell. The falling demand, coupled with relief from initial reports that drilling in the Gulf appeared to survive Ike relatively unscathed, helped bring crude oil prices to their lows during a special trading session yesterday.
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NEWS
By David Nitkin and David Nitkin,SUN STAFF | September 1, 2005
With gas prices breaking the $3-per-gallon threshold at many Maryland service stations yesterday, Gioia Sawchuk was among many motorists wondering whether daily price jumps at the pumps are justified. "I feel that the rate of increase is faster than it should be," said Sawchuk, a dental office manager from Parkville who drives a relatively fuel-efficient Honda Accord. "I think they're doing it too quickly, and it's not really reflecting the true increase in cost." But Maryland officials are ill-equipped to investigate allegations of gasoline price-gouging that have accompanied the rapid increase since Hurricane Katrina knifed through the heart of the nation's oil refinery operations this week.
BUSINESS
By DAN THANH DANG | July 1, 2008
T he Q: At the Exxon on Honeygo Boulevard in White Marsh, regular unleaded gasoline was running $4.17 a gallon at the end of last week. Not too far away at Ebenezer Road and Pulaski Highway, the Texaco was selling it at $3.99 a gallon while Sunoco priced its gas at $3.94 a gallon and Shell was selling the same for $3.96 a gallon. Reader Bill Dunbar called with a twinge of vexation in his voice about those wildly varying prices. "One White Marsh gas station is always 10 cents to 20 cents higher than other stations," Dunbar said.
BUSINESS
By DAN THANH DANG | July 1, 2008
T he Q: At the Exxon on Honeygo Boulevard in White Marsh, regular unleaded gasoline was running $4.17 a gallon at the end of last week. Not too far away at Ebenezer Road and Pulaski Highway, the Texaco was selling it at $3.99 a gallon while Sunoco priced its gas at $3.94 a gallon and Shell was selling the same for $3.96 a gallon. Reader Bill Dunbar called with a twinge of vexation in his voice about those wildly varying prices. "One White Marsh gas station is always 10 cents to 20 cents higher than other stations," Dunbar said.
NEWS
By JULIE SCHARPER and JULIE SCHARPER,SUN REPORTER | March 25, 2006
Maryland gas stations earned record profits in the days after Hurricane Katrina as station owners and suppliers raised prices well above necessary, Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. wrote in a letter to Senate leaders this week. Curran found no violation of Maryland law but recommended that the state adopt measures to prevent price-gouging in future crises. "Many stations enjoyed dramatic increases in per gallon profit margins," Curran wrote to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch.
NEWS
By Wailin Wong and Joshua Boak and Wailin Wong and Joshua Boak,Chicago Tribune | September 15, 2008
Hurricane Ike unleashed its fury at gas pumps yesterday, with prices surging even as crude oil dropped to a five-month low of less than $100 a barrel. The hurricane shuttered refineries located around the Gulf of Mexico, limiting the availability of gasoline. That drove prices for gasoline upward. But without refineries to process crude oil into gasoline, demand for oil fell. The falling demand, coupled with relief from initial reports that drilling in the Gulf appeared to survive Ike relatively unscathed, helped bring crude oil prices to their lows during a special trading session yesterday.
BUSINESS
By Stephen E. Nordlinger and Stephen E. Nordlinger,Washington Bureau of The Sun | September 23, 1990
Washington--Despite the furor over the steep climb in oil and gasoline prices from the Persian Gulf crisis, oil industry profits in the quarter ending this week are going to follow a mixed pattern, according to energy experts.Some companies are expected to do extremely well, while others fare poorly, even showing a surprising loss in some cases.The profits of even the biggest winners, though, will pale in comparison to those of Saudi Arabia, the largest producer in the Middle East.The Saudi windfall is expected to be large despite its response to a burden-sharing appeal from President Bush.
BUSINESS
By JAY HANCOCK | July 7, 2004
MAYBE no Democratic presidential candidate went after big drug companies harder than John Edwards, the North Carolina senator who was named yesterday as John Kerry's vice presidential running mate. Edwards said he would order the Justice Department to investigate "price gouging" by big pharmaceutical outfits. He would permit drug "reimportation," which would undercut manufacturers' profits by allowing U.S. patients to benefit from foreign price controls. He would sharply restrict pharmaceutical advertising.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins and Jamie Smith Hopkins,Sun reporter | May 26, 2007
State Comptroller Peter Franchot said yesterday that he is launching a probe into high gas prices and wants answers from oil companies - particularly why the price can range 10 or 20 cents a gallon between nearby stations selling the same brand. With U.S. gas prices setting a record right before the travel-heavy Memorial Day weekend, politicians across the country are insisting that something has to be done - and are rushing to do it. Twenty-one governors, including Maryland's Martin O'Malley, called this week for an inquiry into pricing.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins and Jamie Smith Hopkins,Sun reporter | May 26, 2007
State Comptroller Peter Franchot said yesterday that he is launching a probe into high gas prices and wants answers from oil companies - particularly why the price can range 10 or 20 cents a gallon between nearby stations selling the same brand. With U.S. gas prices setting a record right before the travel-heavy Memorial Day weekend, politicians across the country are insisting that something has to be done - and are rushing to do it. Twenty-one governors, including Maryland's Martin O'Malley, called this week for an inquiry into pricing.
NEWS
By LAURA SMITHERMAN and LAURA SMITHERMAN,SUN REPORTER | May 28, 2006
When gasoline prices rise, drivers grumble and politicians talk energy crisis. Marketers see opportunity. Koons car dealerships in Maryland and Virginia are running television commercials offering some buyers up to five years' worth of gasoline. ConsumerClub.com is offering shoppers $10 off their gas purchases when they buy $100 of merchandise via the Web site. Even the American Red Cross recognized the allure of such campaigns and is giving blood donors a chance to win $100 gas cards.
NEWS
By JULIE SCHARPER and JULIE SCHARPER,SUN REPORTER | March 25, 2006
Maryland gas stations earned record profits in the days after Hurricane Katrina as station owners and suppliers raised prices well above necessary, Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. wrote in a letter to Senate leaders this week. Curran found no violation of Maryland law but recommended that the state adopt measures to prevent price-gouging in future crises. "Many stations enjoyed dramatic increases in per gallon profit margins," Curran wrote to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch.
NEWS
By THOMAS SOWELL | November 17, 2005
A newspaper headline - "Lawmakers Struggle to Define Gasoline Price `Gouging'" - shows how phony the current congressional jihad against the oil companies is. "Price gouging" is one of those phrases that evoke strong emotions but have no definition. Where particular states have passed laws against "price gouging," their different definitions reveal how slippery and arbitrary the concept is. Kansas attempts to define price gouging as selling at prices more than 25 percent higher than they were before some disaster.
NEWS
By David Nitkin and David Nitkin,SUN STAFF | September 1, 2005
With gas prices breaking the $3-per-gallon threshold at many Maryland service stations yesterday, Gioia Sawchuk was among many motorists wondering whether daily price jumps at the pumps are justified. "I feel that the rate of increase is faster than it should be," said Sawchuk, a dental office manager from Parkville who drives a relatively fuel-efficient Honda Accord. "I think they're doing it too quickly, and it's not really reflecting the true increase in cost." But Maryland officials are ill-equipped to investigate allegations of gasoline price-gouging that have accompanied the rapid increase since Hurricane Katrina knifed through the heart of the nation's oil refinery operations this week.
NEWS
By Alfonso A. Castillo and Alfonso A. Castillo,NEWSDAY | August 18, 2004
CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - The constant warnings by local authorities and the media about the potential for price gouging in Florida, where some 493,000 people are still without power because of Hurricane Charley, have many Floridians leery. Maybe too leery, thinks Gary Bryant. "The people act like everything you tell them is too high," said Bryant, owner of Bryant's Professional Tree Service, who drove from his home in Memphis, Tenn., looking to help people remove fallen trees from their homes.
NEWS
October 12, 1990
Raise at the PumpsEditor: To many Americans, gasoline is a necessity. They need it to commute to jobs and to go to the grocery store. This is why Congress took the oil industry to task when the recent turmoil in Iraq resulted in a large price increase at the gas pumps. It accused the oil industry of ''price gouging.''Apparently, Congress knew a good thing when it saw it. Congress promptly decided to add 10 cents to the price of gasoline. But this is not called price gouging. Read my lips, it's a tax raise.
NEWS
By Jonathan Weisman and Jonathan Weisman,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | June 22, 2000
WASHINGTON - Sensing as much political promise as peril in soaring gasoline prices, Vice President Al Gore has unleashed an unusually harsh condemnation of the oil industry, accusing energy companies of "collusion" and price "gouging." Gore issued a statement late Tuesday night decrying what he called oil industry profit gains of "500 percent in the first part of this year" and demanding an investigation into allegations of price fixing and collusion. "These enormous and unreasonable profits suggest that Big Oil is gouging American consumers," Gore said.
BUSINESS
By JAY HANCOCK | July 7, 2004
MAYBE no Democratic presidential candidate went after big drug companies harder than John Edwards, the North Carolina senator who was named yesterday as John Kerry's vice presidential running mate. Edwards said he would order the Justice Department to investigate "price gouging" by big pharmaceutical outfits. He would permit drug "reimportation," which would undercut manufacturers' profits by allowing U.S. patients to benefit from foreign price controls. He would sharply restrict pharmaceutical advertising.
TOPIC
By G. Jefferson Price III and G. Jefferson Price III,PERSPECTIVE EDITOR | October 21, 2001
Every war seems to have its "hack" hotel - hack being a word of British origin applied to journalists. In Saigon it was the Caravelle where hacks sat on the veranda sipping cocktails while the war rumbled in the distance - and occasionally nearby. In Beirut it was the Commodore, where a parrot named Coco whistled a scary imitation of the sound of incoming artillery. The American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem, whose central part is an old pasha's palace, is the favorite lodging and drinking place for foreign correspondents.
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