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Profiteering law may be imposed due to market conditions; Attorney General rules apply now

from Office of the Maine Attorney General

The Governor and Attorney General’s office has the ability to impose the (anti) profiteering law during “Abnormal Market Disruptions” which is defined in the linked law (and could be considered now due to the weather). The Governor would have to declare the time period and the law then limits what can be charged in excess of costs for commodities (like heating oil and propane) and other products – this would be an “Unconscionable Price”. It has come to our attention that a declaration which would activate this law is under consideration.

There is a rebuttable presumption that a price is unconscionable when it exceeds by more than 15% the sum of:
  1. The price at which similar goods or services were offered for sale or sold by that person immediately prior to the beginning date of the abnormal market disruption. If that person did not offer such goods or services immediately prior to the abnormal market disruption, then the price is the price at which similar goods or services were offered for sale or sold by another person similarly situated prior to the abnormal market disruption; and
  2. The increased cost calculated according to the method used by that person prior to the abnormal market disruption.
Attorney General Delivery Rules: Remember that deliveries and service are already regulated by the Attorney General’s Home Heating Rules. They can be found here.
The Attorney General has issued rules that regulate the sale of home heating oil (and propane) during the winter months, from October 15 through April 30. One of the basic consumer rights detailed in these Rules is that an oil dealer cannot refuse to deliver to a consumer even if the consumer owes the dealer money, providing these three conditions are met:
  • The consumer has cash or government guaranteed payment to pay for the oil being requested;
  • The dealer regularly serves the consumer’s area; and
  • The consumer requests at least 20 gallons.
There are other rules as well.

If any questions, don’t hesitate to call Jamie at MEMA at 207-729-5298. more

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