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More pain at the pump – Gas supply adequate but price high

By By Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
A check with several local gas station operators on Tuesday revealed supply is adequate to meet demand but prices remains about 50 to 75 cents per gallon higher than what they were the same time last week.
Most operators indicated they expect to continue to get deliveries on request even thought oil refineries on the Texas Gulf coast shut down prior to the arrival of Hurricane Ike. Price increases ranging from 50 cents to $1 a gallon were an immediate result, causing many motorists to rush to a station to fill up on Friday. While local prices ranged from $4.09 to $4.32, operators said they expect prices to drop gradually and reach pre-Ike levels within the next two to three weeks.
Gas prices on Highway 31before the hurricane made landfall ranged from $3.49 to $3.69
Prices ranged from $4.09 to $4.32 on Tuesday.
Tankersley Service Center at highways 31 and 36 was one of the stations to run out of gas before the hurricane hit.
Meanwhile, a growing number of consumers were expressing their frustration by leveling price gouging complaints at the state attorney’s general’s office.
Attorney General Troy King said Monday his office had received 1,500 such complaints and they continue to pour in.
The state’s price gouging law was activated on Friday by Gov. Bob Riley as the hurricane approached the Texas Coast and gas prices shot up quickly.
The law prohibits sellers from increasing the price of a commodity by more than 25 percent of its average price, in the affected area, within 30 days of a declared state of emergency. It does not apply, however, when the price increase is the result of reasonable costs to the seller.

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