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NEW YORK -- As gas prices creep higher over the $3 mark, two New York state lawmakers are hoping to put a stop to price gouging at the pump. State Sen. Eric Adams (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Queens) launched a public awareness campaign to let New York drivers know that they should contact the New York State Consumer Protection Board if they think they are being scammed at the gas pump, according to 1010Wins.com.
"If you find there is too much water content in your gas, or finding the price gouging increasing rapidly in your community or your area, we want you to call the Consumer Protection Board," Adams said.
For their part, gas retailers said that higher wholesale prices are causing them to pass the increase along to drivers. They also said drivers should blame the unrest in Libya. Although the U.S. doesn't import a lot of oil from Libya, other countries do and prices are set on a global scale, the news site reported.
Weprin explained that he is worried about gas station owners who go too far. "Unscrupulous owners are taking advantage of the public not knowing what the actual price should be," he told 1010Wins/
Legislation introduced by the two lawmakers would require all gas stations in New York to post signs near gas pumps listing the contact information for the CPB. Adams and Weprin also want more spot checks at gas stations, according to the news outlet, and new laws that would make penalties for price gouging more severe.
In the wake of rising gas prices, New York City's Department of Consumer Affairs inspected more than 10,000 pumps, and it found that 97 percent of them delivered what drivers were buying.