The path of Hurricane Harvey’s destruction continues to be felt both in Texas and far beyond, especially in the oil and gas sector that drives much of Houston’s economy.
On Tuesday night, the Smyrna City Council unanimously passed an ordinance against gasoline price gouging by local gas stations, following a similar measure recently passed statewide.
“Hurricane Harvey hit land with a record 50 inches of rain falling on Houston, which caused unprecedented flooding,” said Smyrna City Administrator Tammi Saddler Jones. “Local refineries were shut down as a result of this natural disaster. Direct code enforcement marshalls must be proactive in responding to reports of potential price gouging.”
Per the ordinance, code enforcements are to investigate any reported incidents of price gouging in the city and pass them on to Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s Consumer Affairs Office. Smyrna passed a similar ordinance following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, according to Mayor Max Bacon.
“We’ve had our folks go out and politely say we’re trying to protect the consumer,” said the longtime mayor. “It’s important that we do that and stay ahead of the curve.”
According to GasPriceWatch.com, two stations in Smyrna are tied for the cheapest gas in the city at $2.65 per gallon. Nationally, gas prices have risen by an average of 50 cents per gallon in the last two weeks.