RICHMOND, Va. — Democratic leaders in Virginia are calling on Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin to declare a state of emergency to activate the state’s anti-price gouging law.
The move comes as gas prices reach record highs following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The emergency declaration would activate the Virginia Post-Disaster Anti-Price Gouging Act, which is designed to stop suppliers from charging an “unconscionable price” for necessary goods and services, including gas and home heating fuel.
The law gives the state attorney general the authority to investigate and prosecute businesses that overcharge.
"Governor Youngkin has the power to act and help protect Virginians at the pump, but so far, has failed to do so. Instead, he continues to point fingers and waste precious time. Virginians do not need talking points and failed campaign promises—we need leadership and action," House Democratic Leader Eileen Filler-Corn said in a statement.
Macaulay Porter, the spokeswoman for Youngkin, provided 13News Now the following statement:
Virginians and all Americans are feeling the pain at the pump with the highest gas prices on record. Of course this isn't price gouging and Virginians see this ploy for what it is--Democrats trying desperately to distract their constituents from their record of reducing American energy independence at every turn.
Earlier this week, Attorney General Jason Miyares’ office said the office has no authority to act against the rise in gas prices right now.
13News Now reached out to his office again on Thursday but did not receive a response.
So, what do you do if you think a gas station is taking advantage of its customers with high prices? Well, you can submit a price-gouging complaint with this form.
You’ll need to fill in some basic details about yourself and the gas station you're concerned about.
You also need the know the type of fuel, the grade, how much you paid and where the gas came from.
There are ways to conserve your gas and protect your wallet as prices go up.
AAA recommends traveling light, map out your route and avoid idling too long.
They also say you should have routine inspections and check your tire pressure.
Don’t forget, many fuel centers offer reward points that will take a few cents off per gallon.