§2461d. Price gouging of petroleum products and heating fuel products

Link to law: http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/09/063/02461d
Published: 2015

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Title

09

:
Commerce and Trade






Chapter

063

:
CONSUMER PROTECTION






Subchapter

001
:
GENERAL PROVISIONS










 

§

2461d. Price gouging of petroleum products and heating fuel products

(a) Definitions

For the purposes of this section:

(1) A

"market emergency" shall be declared by the Governor. The market

emergency shall continue for 30 days or until terminated by the Governor. The

Governor may extend the market emergency for additional 30-day periods.

"Market emergency" means any abnormal disruption of any market for

petroleum products or heating fuel products, including any actual or threatened

shortage in the supply of petroleum products or heating fuel products or any

actual or threatened increase in the price of petroleum products or heating

fuel products resulting from severe weather, convulsion of nature, supply

manipulation, failure or shortage of electric power or other source of energy,

strike, civil disorder, act of war, terrorist attack, national or local

emergency, or other extraordinary adverse circumstances.

(2)

"Petroleum or heating fuel product" means motor fuels, liquefied

petroleum gas, fuel oil, kerosene, and wood pellets used for heating or cooking

purposes.

(3)

"Petroleum or heating fuel-related business" means any producer,

supplier, wholesaler, distributor, or retail seller of any petroleum or heating

fuel product.

(b) It is an

unfair and deceptive act and practice in commerce and a violation of section

2453 of this title for any petroleum or heating fuel-related business during a

market emergency or seven days prior thereto to sell or offer to sell any

petroleum product or heating fuel product for an amount that represents an

unconscionably high price.

(c) A price is

unconscionably high if:

(1) the amount

charged during the market emergency or seven days prior thereto represents a

gross disparity between the price of the petroleum product or heating fuel

product charged by the petroleum or heating fuel related business and:

(A) the price at

which the same product was sold or offered for sale by that business in the

usual course of business immediately prior to the date of the declaration of

the market emergency; or

(B) the price at

which the same or similar petroleum product or heating fuel product is readily

obtainable by the buyer and other buyers in the trade area in which the

petroleum- or heating-fuel-related business markets the product; and

(2) the

disparity is not substantially attributable to increased prices charged by the

petroleum product or heating fuel product suppliers or increased costs due to a

market emergency. (Added 2005, No. 210 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)
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