Beshear issues state of emergency on gas prices

Mark Payne
Mark Payne
Mark Payne is the government and politics reporter for LINK nky. Email him at [email protected]

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Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency on gas prices Thursday. As part of the declaration, he also issued an executive order activating Kentucky’s price gouging laws. 

“We can’t say that gas prices are in part caused by federal policy, and then when we look at what the federal government can control, say ‘oh, that won’t do anything,'” Beshear said. “We’ve got to push forward and look at all the options we have to help our families.” 

While it’s unclear what will happen if price gouging is reported and how price gouging laws will impact gas prices, consumers in Kentucky can report price gouging to the Attorney General’s office on this website. 

Price gouging is when a seller increases the prices of goods, services, or commodities to a level much higher than is considered reasonable or fair.

“Kentucky families deserve relief from increasing gas prices,” Beshear said. “Everyone sitting at a kitchen table working on a budget knows that every little bit helps, and I will continue to seek and take any action that might make even the slightest difference. 

During his press conference, Beshear outlined the high price of gas that hit an average price of $4.73 a gallon in June, which was up from $4.29 in May. Diesel fuel hit its highest recorded average price in Kentucky on June 20 at $5.851 per gallon.

The attorney general’s office has received 263 complaints of price gouging since January 1, and that 22 of those complaints reported prices of 10 percent or more above the prevailing price in Kentucky at the time. 

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Attorney General Daniel Cameron said he believes a declaration of a state of emergency would provide “minimal” relief.

“I am taking this action because I believe strongly that even minimal relief is better than no relief,” Beshear said. 

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