Massachusetts Democrat calls for investigation into high gas prices

The Massachusetts Democratic secretary of state is calling for an investigation into soaring gas prices, but said he has no proof of price gouging taking place.

Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin told WBZ-TV that the fuel being sold today was not produced during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, adding that the practices that led to such prices must be reviewed.

“Not an ounce of fuel that’s being sold here either for heating or gasoline right now was taken out of ground after the invasion of Ukraine,” Galvin said. “The pricing practices have to be reviewed.”

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William Galvin, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth speaks to the media at the State House on November 2, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts (Matt Stone / MediaNews Group / Boston Herald)

The secretary of state, however, said that he has no proof that price gouging is taking place, but is concerned about the rising cost of gasoline and heating oil prices in the state, according to the Associated Press.

The statewide average for gasoline in Massachusetts is $ 4,306, according to AAA. Nationally, it’s $ 4,252.

Galvin said that while gasoline providers have a “right to a profit,” they do not have a right to an “exorbitant profit.”

“We have some of the best consumer protection statutes in the country. We need to use them. We need to use them now,” Galvin told WBZ. “Let’s look at the prices. Let’s go in and examine the books and records of the suppliers and wholesalers. If they have nothing to hide then we’ll know that.”

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Gas prices, all over the $ 5 per gallon mark, are displayed at a gas station in Rancho Cordova, Calif., Monday, March 7, 2022. (AP Photo / Rich Pedroncelli)

Gas prices, all over the $ 5 per gallon mark, are displayed at a gas station in Rancho Cordova, Calif., Monday, March 7, 2022. (AP Photo / Rich Pedroncelli / AP Newsroom)

Galvin asked Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s office to investigate the higher prices to see if any consumer protection laws are being violated.

In a statement, Healey’s office said that it has received complaints about possible price gouging and is monitoring the situation, and also encouraged individuals to submit evidence of price gouging taking place, if they have any.

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Massachusetts Attorney General Healey announced her candidacy for Governor during a press event outside of Maverick MBTA Station in Boston MA on Jan. 20 2022. (Lane Turner / The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

The average cost for heating oil in the state is $ 5.02 per gallon, and the high is $ 6.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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