CLYDE, Texas - A Clyde gas station was identified as one of 127 stores in Texas accused of price gouging for gas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, according to the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
We reported in September when customers claimed that Butterman’s Grill in Clyde was gouging for gas; one receipt showed a customer paid $4.09 per gallon on Aug. 31, just days after Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast.
Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office sent notices of violations to Butterman's and 126 other businesses according to a news release issued Monday. Paxton said his office received about 5,500 complaints of price gouging.
Paxton said all of the stations accused had allegedly charged $3.99 or more for a gallon of unleaded gas or diesel.
“At the outset of Harvey, I made it clear that my office would not tolerate price gouging of vulnerable Texans by any individuals or businesses looking to profit from the hurricane,” Paxton said in a news release.
We spoke to the manager at Butterman’s Grill, Joel Mattson, about the allegation back in September. He said the price at the pump on Aug. 31 started at $2.19 per gallon but was raised as people kept pumping.
“We didn’t want our pumps to burn up, and we didn’t want to be sitting here without fuel for two days, and we honestly thought people would stop pumping fuel, but they didn’t,” Mattson told KTXS in September.
Paxton’s office says the businesses have been given the opportunity to resolve the issue with the AG’s office directly to avoid facing legal action. Under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, offenders can be charged up to $20,000 per violation.
KTXS reached out to Mattson for further comment but we were told by a Butterman's employee that Mattson is unavailable until next week.
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