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Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum

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AG MYERS & ODOE REASSURE OREGONIANS OF SUFFICIENT GAS SUPPLY

September 2, 2005

Attorney General Hardy Myers And The Oregon Department Of Energy Reassure Oregonians Of Sufficient Gasoline Supply; Urge Consumers To Report "Price Gouging"

Attorney General Hardy Myers and the Oregon Department of Energy Director Michael Grainey today reassured Oregonian motorists that currently, there is no shortage of gasoline in the state and urged them to not panic at the pumps. Based on petroleum surveys, there are ample supplies of gasoline to meet current, normal seasonal demands.

"Rising gasoline prices are on the minds of many Oregonians as headlines continue to predict record highs driven by Hurricane Katrina's damage to the oil industry," Myers said. "The worst thing we could do is to panic and hoard gasoline. It is simply unnecessary."

"Nationally, petroleum and natural gas constraints are significant," says Mark Kendall, Oregon Department of Energy senior analyst for petroleum supply, "but Oregon has an ample supply for prudent use."

Myers warned gasoline suppliers that state and federal law prohibits conspiracies in restraint of trade. "Because Oregon's supply of gasoline is not directly affected by Katrina, we will look very closely at any reports of any constriction reaching our state."

The Oregon Department of Energy is responsible for managing the state's response to any actual shortages in the petroleum supply and distribution system. ODOE is asking drivers to save gasoline by doing a few simple things:

  • Motorists should not constantly "top off" their gas tanks or stockpile gasoline. This will create abnormal demand and unnecessary long lines.
  • Due to Hurricane Katrina, the Oregon Department of Energy echoes the message from the federal government that all drivers should conserve for the next few weeks.
  • Save money and fuel by coasting up to stop lights and using the brakes less, using cruise control when traffic allows, keeping windows rolled up at highway speeds, obeying speed limits, using the fan instead of air conditioning, bicycle or walk when possible, and make use of mass transit, carpools or telework.

"Another good way to save gas is to not allow your vehicle to idle for long periods," says Kendall. "In other words, don't sit in lines at a drive-through or your $2.50 latte could wind up costing $2.75."

Myers explained that although gasoline prices have increased during the summer travel months and are normally expected to rise some over the Labor Day holiday weekend, there have been reports of possible gasoline price gouging.

"Unfortunately, the Oregon Legislative Assembly has, in each of the past five sessions, failed to approve my proposals for an anti-price gouging law."

Consumers may report possible price gouging by contacting the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) or toll-free at 1-877-877-9392. Justice is online at www.doj.state.or.us.

Contact:

Jan Margosian, (503) 947-4333 (media line only) jan.margosian@doj.state.or.us |
Diana Enright, Energy, (503) 378-8278 |
Mark Kendall, Energy, (503) 378-6043 |
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