District Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan reported that his office is investigating allegations against Capitol Petroleum Group, the Springfield-based gasoline supplier, accused of engaging in practices that could be inflating pump prices, reports the Washington Post. Accordingly, this enormous regional enterprise “owns, operates or supplies” 164 stations in the DC area, as well as 71 stations in New York City.
Concurrently, Maryland’s Attorney General Douglas Gansler is also investigating a “sudden and dramatic” increase in prices at a handful of Maryland gas stations, supplied by Empire Petroleum Holdings, based in Gaithersburg, MD. Gansler said his office has received phone calls from customers and gas station owners worrying about the price increases of about 25 cents per gallon. Gansler demanded Empire turn over proper documents concerning the purchase and sale of gasoline from last month as proof of the legitimacy of the recent price hike.
“Such a significant price increase in such a short amount of time is deeply concerning to this office,” wrote Gansler, whose office is charged with ensuring fair market competition and protecting consumers.
However, an attorney for Empire Petroleum claims they are being unfairly targeted, and that these distribution companies do not make any price decisions—the oil companies do that.