2 Va. gas stations accused of price gouging during Colonial Pipeline shutdown

Two Northern Virginia gas stations, accused of price gouging last year, have reached settlements with outgoing Attorney General Mark Herring.

It means customers who were burned, can get some of their money back.

Herring said the stations charged “unconscionable” prices on certain days following the temporary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline.

“It’s unfortunate that there are bad actors out there who will take advantage of their fellow Virginians during times of crisis or emergency just to line their own pockets,” Herring said in a statement. “Price gouging will not be tolerated in the Commonwealth.”

In Arlington, George Mason Liberty Gas on Columbia Pike at S. George Mason Drive is accused of jacking up prices at least 30%. Herring’s complaint accuses the station of charging an average of $3.80 a gallon for regular unleaded, and $4.30 for premium over three days: May 15, 16 and 17.

In Lake Ridge, Exxon at the Glen on Seeton Square off Prince William Parkway is accused of pumping up the price of premium gas by 34%. In that case, the complaint says the price of premium was raised to $4.59 a gallon on May 12.

George Mason Liberty Gas has agreed to pay more than $7,000 in fees and restitution. Exxon at the Glen will pay nearly $3,000.

Customers who believe they paid too much at those stations on those days can apply to be reimbursed for the overpayment.

You’ll need to file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section. You can do it online here. If you have questions, you can email consumer@oag.state.va.us or call 800-552-9963.

The Colonial Pipeline, which is one of the nation’s largest gas pipelines, was hit by a ransomware attack on May 7, 2021 that forced it to shut down.

On May 11, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a 30-day state of emergency, allowing the commonwealth to crack down on gas price gouging.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter and anchor at WTOP.

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