UPDATE: Georgia Governor Brian Kemp declared a State of Emergency Tuesday as a result of the petroleum shortage from the May 7, 2021 cyber-attack on the Colonial Pipeline.
The State of Emergency will remain in effect through 11:59 p.m. on May 15, 2021.
With the State of Emergency, Georgia’s price gouging statutes were activated.
This means that while the State of Emergency remains in effect, businesses may not charge more for products and services identified by the Governor, including motor fuel and diesel fuel, than they charged before the declaration of the state of emergency, unless the increased prices accurately reflect an increase in the cost of new stock or the cost to transport it, plus the retailer's average markup percentage applied during the ten days immediately prior to the declaration of the state of emergency.
“While we believe this to be a short-term event, we do not want consumers to be taken advantage of,” said Attorney General Carr. “Our office will review all price gouging complaints received to ensure the law is followed.”
Under the Price Gouging Statutes, the Department of Law’s Consumer Protection Division (CPD) receives and evaluates reports related to a rise in the costs of goods and services after the declaration is made.
Consumers should also be aware that the Public Health State of Emergency originally issued by the Governor on March 14, 2020 to assist with the state’s response to COVID-19 is currently in effect through May 30, 2021. That order prohibits price gouging of goods and services necessary to support public health.
To report price gouging, visit the Georgia Consumer Protection Division's website.
PREVIOUS STORY: Tuesday, Governor Brian Kemp signed an executive order to temporarily suspend the gas tax in Georgia in light of the Colonial Pipeline cyber attack.
Kemp also announced that the state is increasing the weight limits for trucks transporting fuel, providing more supply for stations as they receive deliveries. The governor's office said in a release that the order further prohibits price gouging by bad actors looking to exploit the situation.
“My office has been in close contact with company and industry officials since we first learned of the Colonial cyber attack over the weekend," said Governor Kemp. "Unfortunately, extensive media coverage has caused people to panic which has resulted in higher gas prices. We are taking action to relieve some of the cost burden from Georgians as Colonial recovers by suspending fuel taxes, increasing the weight limit for supply trucks, and prohibiting price gouging."
"We expect these measures to be temporary as Colonial plans to be fully up and running later this week. There is no need to rush to the gas station to fill up every tank you have and hoard gas. With the measures we have taken today, I am hopeful we can get more supply to stations and get through to this weekend when we hope Colonial will return to normal."