Abbott Calls Price Gouging Reprehensible and Warns of Severe Penalties
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) called price gouging during Hurricane Harvey's devastation "un-Texan" and warned there will prosecutions of any businesses caught doing it.
Abbott gave an update on the rescue and recovery efforts this morning and was asked about some reports of higher gas and water prices.
"Price gouging is not only reprehensible, it's illegal," said Abbott, warning businesses of fines up to $25,000 per incident.
Best Buy issued an apology after a report by Grit Post that one of its stores was selling bottled water for $43 for a 24-pack. After the photo went viral, the company said the price was a result of an employee's error.
One Houston resident sent me a pic of water he saw being sold for *$42* at a nearby Best Buy. They were kind enough to offer $29 bottles too pic.twitter.com/8dKz3sJJM1
— ken klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) August 29, 2017
There were other reports over the weekend of jacked-up hotel room rates and gas stations charging $10-a-gallon.
Attorney General Ken Paxton advised Texans who observe price gouging to report it immediately by calling the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-621-0508, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or filing a complaint online.
The situation has become especially dire today in Port Arthur, Texas, where two more feet of rain fell overnight, flooding neighborhoods and shelters.