Gas-seller inquiry reveals no wrongdoing

Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2002

The state Attorney General's Office has found no wrongdoing by Ketchikan gas sellers after a three-month inquiry.

Following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, prices in Ketchikan rose as high as $2.29 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline. Complaints to the state prompted an investigation.

"It looks like there was really sort of an uncanny coincidence," said Ed Sniffen, assistant attorney general, of the September price spike. "All the stations were very cooperative. ... There was no problem with them at all."

Local distributors cited a 46-cent jump in Seattle-area wholesale prices the week before Sept. 11 as the cause of the increase. According to Sniffen, the state's investigation verified the price increase.

"We haven't received any complaints recently," Sniffen said. "We haven't received any information that would prompt us to do more than we've already done."

This closes the inquiry into Southeast gas price gouging related to the Sept. 11 attacks, but the Attorney General's Office has been investigating statewide gas prices since 1999.

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