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Oct 21, 2008 9:12 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Law to cut gas prices goes into effect in November

Oct 21, 2008 9:12 AM

Gasoline consumers who’ve been waiting for the end of higher prices per gallon on the East End will have to wait until November 24 before new laws targeting the pumps go into effect.

In September, Governor David A. Paterson signed a bill that bans “zone pricing,” a method of pricing gasoline according to the demographic makeup of a community, not the true cost of shipping the gas to that location.

State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., who represents the South Fork in Albany and is a major supporter of the new law, has said that such practices artificially inflate gasoline prices here by an average of 20 to 25 cents per gallon over neighboring areas that are less affluent. Mr. Thiele, who has proposed similar legislation in the past, said that such pricing schemes place an unfair burden on year-round residents who are not wealthy.

Last week, Mr. Thiele sent a letter to the corporate headquarters of the Exxon Mobil, Hess, Citgo, Sunoco, Gulf Oil and Shell Oil companies warning them of the impending penalties for engaging in zone pricing.

If caught, gas stations that practice zone pricing will pay civil fines of up to $10,000 per day. Mr. Thiele warned the gas companies that New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is continuing to investigate zone pricing and will be quick to enforce any violations of the law.

Beth Young

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It's about time!!!!Thx Gov.
By Bopche (8), Quogue on Oct 22, 08 1:11 PM
Thanks Assemblyman Thiele!! How about giving the phone numbers to call when gas stations are breaking this law!! We will remember Assemblyman Thiele on election day with our vote!!!!
By bayview (153), Southampton on Oct 22, 08 5:00 PM
How about the "fuel surcharge" that is still appearing on local service providers' bills? When does that go away??
By bettyboo (33), Westhampton on Oct 25, 08 11:36 AM
As pump prices decrease, the fuel surcharge should also go down, if not disappear all together.
By Frank Wheeler (1796), Northampton on Oct 25, 08 7:19 PM
Yes, it should. It hasn't yet.....
By bettyboo (33), Westhampton on Oct 26, 08 5:03 PM