New York Attorney General Tish James launched a probe Thursday into whether oil companies are engaging in price gouging, according to multiple outlets, amid rising fuel prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
CNN was the first to report on Thursday, citing an unnamed source, that the attorney general was beginning a “wide-ranging” investigation to look into the state’s entire oil and diesel supply chains, including both major oil companies and independent pipeline operators.
The attorney general’s office has not responded to a request for comment from Forbes, but told Politico surging gas prices are “forcing working New Yorkers and low-income families to make difficult decisions on whether to pay bills or put food on the table.”
Price gouging, James added, is “unfair and illegal and my office is determined to make sure it doesn’t happen in our state.”
James’ investigation is thought to be the first in the country targeting oil companies, according to CNN, as U.S. gas prices have skyrocketed since Russia invaded Ukraine and Western countries responded with sanctions on Russian energy exports. The U.S. last month banned imports of Russian oil, gas and coal to punish the country over the war. The New York probe comes a week after House Democrats during a hearing pressed oil executives on whether they were taking advantage of the Russian invasion to raise prices. The oil executives refuted the claims, arguing market forces were responsible for the price of gasoline, not any single company. James has aimed to tackle price gouging before, including during the Covid-19 pandemic, when she brought a case against a wholesaler she claimed was unfairly marking up Lysol prices, although a state judge rejected the case.
NY AG launches gas price gouging investigation into the oil industry (CNN)
New York attorney general probes oil giants for signs of price gouging amid Ukraine war (Politico)