JULY 9, 2005 - Posted at 2:43 p.m. CDT
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Attorney General Mike Beebe's Consumer Protection Division has received numerous phone calls and e-mails this week from consumers following the latest spike in gasoline prices. While Arkansas does have a price-gouging law forbidding limiting price increases on gasoline and other goods and services, the law only takes effect during federal-or-state disaster declarations.
Under Act 376 of 1997, the Arkansas legislature established pricing limits on goods and services during a state of emergency. For 30 days following the disaster declaration, the price on gasoline and the other listed goods and services cannot increase by more than 10 percent above the price charged immediately prior to the proclamation of the emergency. In 2003, the law was amended to include any instance when the Homeland Security Advisory System reaches condition "red." None of these conditions has occured during the recent increase in gas prices.
"While international commerce impacts nearly all changes in gas prices, my office will continue to vigilantly monitor conditions at the local level that could influence prices," said Beebe.