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Gas prices should be monitored by Federal Trade Commission after hurricanes, Sen. Schumer says

Sen. Chuck Schumer, at a press conference on

Sen. Chuck Schumer, at a press conference on Sept. 17, called attention to the rise in gas prices post-Hurricane Harvey. Photo Credit: Ivan Pereira

New York may have been spared from the wrath of hurricanes Irma and Harvey, but Sen. Chuck Schumer said the area is suffering from the storm’s after effects, especially at the pump.

The senator said gas prices in the city and Long Island are about 13 percent higher than they were a month ago because of the back-to-back storms. Although the raise is normal since several oil refineries in Texas and Florida were shut, Schumer called on the federal government to ensure the prices return to their normal levels within the next few weeks.

“By the laws of economics, what goes up, should come down,” he said Sunday.

New York City’s current average for a gallon of gas is $2.95, 34 cents higher than the average a month ago, according to AAA. In Long Island, the average is $2.84, 29 cents higher than last month’s average.

Schumer sent a letter to the acting chair of the Federal Trade Commission to conduct a “gouge watch” where they would pay close attention to the prices at the pumps and put the oil companies on notice if they are found to be unnecessarily raising the prices.

The FTC didn’t respond to messages for comment.

Schumer noted the agency conducted an investigation into gas prices in June 2011 and it helped to beef up monitoring of prices.

“The only thing that makes a natural disaster worse is if big oil makes a buck off it,” the senator said.


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