Are N95 masks essential goods covered by state price gouging laws?

Should state laws prohibiting price gouging on essential goods and services apply to individual consumer purchases of N95 masks? The New York state law prohibits unconscionably excessive prices for “consumer goods and services vital and necessary for the health, safety and welfare of consumers.” My question arises because the CDC does not recommend that the … More Are N95 masks essential goods covered by state price gouging laws?

New York state also moves quickly on price gougers

Michael Giberson The New York Attorney General’s office takes action against 13 gas station owners in the state for price gouging. Like last week’s prompt response by New Jersey, this is unusually quick work for price gouging cases. A few quotes from the AG’s press release: NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today … More New York state also moves quickly on price gougers

NYC Brownouts? But why?? I thought they had electric power capacity markets

Michael Giberson From Reuters: Amid NYC heat wave, Con Edison lowers power voltage New York energy company Consolidated Edison Inc reduced the power voltage in some Manhattan neighborhoods on Wednesday, in an action known as a brownout, as a brutal heat wave stressed the city’s electric system for a third day. This was the second … More NYC Brownouts? But why?? I thought they had electric power capacity markets

New York Attorney General proposes to prohibit use of business-related reasoning in gasoline wholesaling

Michael Giberson It sounds kind of funny to say the New York Attorney General wants to prohibit business-related reasoning in gasoline wholesaling. After all, gasoline wholesaling is a business activity and generally business-related reasoning would be entirely appropriate. It sounds like asking a court not to act on law-related reasoning or asking a politician not to … More New York Attorney General proposes to prohibit use of business-related reasoning in gasoline wholesaling

“Energy Storage in the New York Electricity Markets”

Michael Giberson The New York Independent System Operator has release a report, “Energy Storage in the New York Electricity Markets” (March 2010). The report offers an overview of existing grid-connected energy storage in New York, recent developments, and potential for further changes in the next several years. It is a good basic discussion of energy … More “Energy Storage in the New York Electricity Markets”

New York politicians want to expand zone pricing ban to protect wealthy customers from slightly higher prices

Michael Giberson From Newsday: Two Nassau County legislators Thursday called on the State Senate to join the Assembly in extending the ban on zone pricing for gasoline, which they said unfairly charges more in well-to-do communities than in those less so. For readers not up on their New York geography, Nassau County is the portion … More New York politicians want to expand zone pricing ban to protect wealthy customers from slightly higher prices

A customer’s view of National Grid’s smart meter roll out

Michael Giberson From the Wind Power Law Blog in New York, Clifford Rohde takes a break from wind power law to report on his shift to National Grid’s time-of-use rates, a move that required the utility to install a “smart meter.” (He chronicled the first part of this effort in April, shortly after mailing in … More A customer’s view of National Grid’s smart meter roll out

FTC finds no evidence of illegal activity after investigation of Western New York gasoline prices

Michael Giberson Apparently you just have to know who to ask. Yesterday, the FTC sent me a copy of the FTC letter to Representative Brian Higgins describing the agency’s investigation of Western New York gasoline prices last fall. (For background see this earlier post and here.) Be aware that here begins a very long post … More FTC finds no evidence of illegal activity after investigation of Western New York gasoline prices

Nine months after the zone pricing ban in New York…

Michael Giberson New York banned “zone pricing” of gasoline as of last November. In the news: (Henrietta, N.Y.) – Nine months after a state law banning zone pricing for gas went into effect, drivers can still find about a 20 cent per gallon disparity in price depending on where they buy it. For example, gas … More Nine months after the zone pricing ban in New York…