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Monday, February 06, 2006
Posted 4:50 PM by

Who's gouging whom now?

Gas gouging seem to only be helping New Jersey lawyers and investigators, not the people who got fleeced this summer.New Jersey settled its second gas gouging case Monday from last summer's pumphikeapalooza and its nice to know that despite a change in administrations, the public is still getting fleeced.

Much like the first case, which was settled against BP in the last week of Gov. Richard Codey's administration for $315,000 in fines, Philadelphia-based Sunoco Inc. will give the state $325,000 to make its charges go away without admitting any wrong doing.

Of Sunoco's money, just $50,000 will go to the state's Low Income Home Energy Assistance program to help low-income residents pay their heating bills. The rest will be used to "reimburse state and county investigative and legal costs."

All of the BP money was used to cover probe costs too, which begs the question, how much money is Gov. John Corzine and the state paying somebody to watch a gas station change its prices and to have a lawyer argue a case to settlement?

Aren't there are a battery of lawyers and officers on the state's payroll already who can do that work instead of handing more than 90 percent of the money raised to outside folks.

Finally, how is the public benefitting from any of this if none of the gas companies are forced to admit they gouged consumers and are able to keep their huge profits? I gues crime pays on both sides of the law.


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