Maryland Attorney General raises price gouging concerns as gas prices go up

The Attorney General of Maryland wants a law to stop gas price gouging as the entire DMV region continues to take the hit of gas prices. However, the definition of what price gouging is, and is not, is a blind spot in local laws.

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The national average for gas is a record $4.25 per gallon, according to AAA. In the DMV, D.C.'s average is $4.41, Maryland's is $4.23 and Virginia's is $4.18.

President Biden is warning oil companies and gas stations to not take advantage of the situation by hiking prices to raise profits. 

While social media is filled with claims and complaints of price gouging, few laws exist to stop it in the DMV, or even identify it.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh spoke to FOX 5 exclusively and is now calling on the Maryland General Assembly to pass a gas price gouging law.

Frosh says high gas prices are fueling higher prices across the board.

READ MORE: Gas prices continue to rise across US; DC average nears $4.50 per gallon

"We don’t have a stick," he said. "We can mediate but if somebody pulls up to a pump, fills up with gas, the odds of us being able to fix that after the consumer drives away is tough."

D.C., Maryland and Virginia had price gouging laws in place for the pandemic health emergencies, but those have now ended.

Frank Marcchiola of the American Petroleum Institute says gas prices are the result of high demand and reduced supply. He says lawmakers should focus on increasing supply be increasing oil production in the U.S.

"Instead of focusing on this sort of distraction, and not a real issue, about whether there’s price gouging or picking on individual gas stations that have no relation to the prouder market, we ought to focus on the big issues, focus on what’s really going on here," Marcchiola says. "This has been an issue that’s raised time and time again when prices go up and people investigate it and things never come to fruition because it is not a factor."


The office of the D.C. Attorney General tells FOX 5 consumers can contact them if they suspect unfair pricing.

There is currently a bill in the Maryland General Assembly called the Gas Price Gouging Act, sponsored by state Senator Cheryl Kaga, but time is running out for it as Maryland's General Assembly ends on April 11.