Record-high gas prices spur Beshear to declare state of emergency, activating price gouging laws


Spurred by record-high gas prices, Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday declared a state of emergency in the commonwealth.

Beshear issued an executive order declaring the state of emergency and activated the state’s price gouging laws to protect families from grossly overpriced gasoline and motor fuels.

“There are many challenges and even difficulties in our present,” Beshear said. “But as we push through it, there is a big and bright tomorrow that we will get to, and we will get to it together. Part of that is about doing everything we can here in state government to help our families get through.”

With the state of emergency in place, consumers can report price gouging to the Office of the Attorney General and under state law price gougers can be held accountable, Beshear stated.

“Kentucky families deserve relief from increasing gas prices,” Beshear said. “Everyone sitting at a kitchen table working on a budget knows that every little bit helps, and I will continue to seek and take any action that might make even the slightest difference.”

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the price of gasoline hit record highs multiple times in Kentucky in May and kept soaring in June with a record-high average price of $4.798 per gallon on June 11.

AAA reported an average price of $4.73 per gallon on June 20 – up from an average price of $4.29 a month earlier. Diesel fuel hit its highest recorded average price in Kentucky on June 20 at $5.851 per gallon.

Recently, the governor sent a letter asking the attorney general to advise him on whether to declare a state of emergency and thus activate the price gouging laws to further protect Kentuckians. The attorney general responded and reported to the governor for the first time that his office had received 263 complaints of price gouging since January 1 and that 22 of those complaints reported prices of 10 percent or more above the prevailing price in Kentucky at the time.

By Ken Howlett, News Director

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