Local Businesses Under Investigation for Price Gouging Complaints

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

Is the pain at the pump worse in the Brazos Valley than elsewhere across the state? It's a question you our viewers answered a resounding yes to-- just last month.

Thursday morning, according to the Texas Gas Prices website, College Station had among the highest reported gas prices in the state, coming in at $3.89 a gallon.

News 3 has just learned there are multiple gas stations and other businesses being investigated by the Attorney General's Office. Thirteen to be exact, all coming from price gouging complaints some of you have filed with the Attorney General's Office.

Places in Bryan, College Station, Madisonville and Franklin are under investigation.

We first contacted the AG's office last month after many of you at home began noticing gas prices here in B/CS and surrounding communities as higher than those in nearby Houston and even Dallas.

Since the AG's investigation is ongoing, details about the specifics, such as what stations or businesses are under a watchful eye, are not being released and neither are the dates that those complaints were filed.

So it's unclear if they came in before or after Hurricane Ike, for which the AG's office is currently looking into more than 900 complaints of price gouging.

Many of you at home have had concerns about whether gas prices here rise when college students return to town.
But is that price gouging? Ultimately it will be up to the AG to decide.

News 3 has filed an open records request with the Attorney General's Office to get our viewers more information.

We've also asked officials with Valero's Corporate Office in San Antonio why prices in the Brazos Valley may be so much higher.

Here's what they said:
-In smaller communities, stations aren't as big, and therefore don't buy in volume.
-Prices can vary depending on real estate in the area.
-Pollution standards can make a difference, such as buying gasoline with ethanol can make prices lower versus buying gasoline without ethanol.
-And, of course, natural disasters such as a Hurricane can drive the prices up.

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