Attorney General Pruitt Statement on Impact of Emergency Price Stabilization Act
“The Attorney General’s Office has been investigating the propane price increases and other issues surrounding its availability,” Attorney General Scott Pruitt said. “The rising prices are a problem for many Oklahomans who rely on propane for heat during the winter. Anyone considering an artificial price increase or price fixing may face criminal or civil action.”
Oklahoma’s Emergency Price Stabilization Act was activated Friday after the governor issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency related to the propane market.
“It is important for consumers to know that while the price stabilization act may help consumers with artificial price increases in propane, it will not lower existing record high propane prices and only affects price increases caused by illegal activity,” General Pruitt said.
The price gouging statute was adopted following the May 1999 tornadoes that caused significant damage across a large portion of Oklahoma.
The statute states that no person for the duration of a declaration of emergency by the governor or by the president, and for 30 days thereafter shall sell, rent, lease or offer to sell, rent or lease for delivery in the emergency area any goods, services, dwelling units or storage space in the emergency area at a rate or price, which is more than 10 percent above the rate or price charged by the person for the same or similar goods, services, dwelling units or storage spaces immediately prior to the declaration of emergency unless the increase in rate or price is attributable to price increases in applicable regional, national or international petroleum commodity markets or only factors unrelated to the emergency and does not include any increase in profit to the seller or owner.
Additionally, the act is in effect for another 180 days for prices to repairs, remodeling and construction.
Oklahomans who suspect price gouging or price fixing should file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Public Protection Unit online at www.oag.ok.gov, by calling (405) 521-2029 or (918) 581-2885, or via e-mail at PublicProtection@oag.ok.gov.