Texas Gas Station Caught Charging $20 Per Gallon During Hurricane Harvey

Natural disasters have a tendency to bring out the best and worst of humanity and Hurricane Harvey is certainly no different.

While countless people have donated to disaster relief, a number of stores in Texas have been gouging customers who are desperate for supplies.

In an interview with CNBC, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the state has already received more than 500 complaints about price gouging. A number of these involved gas stations drastically increasing their prices while people were attempting to flee the area.

Paxton says some stations were charging between $4 and $10 a gallon. This is significantly higher than the statewide average which is $2.19 according to AAA.

Some stations were even greedier as the Attorney General’s office told Jalopnik they were able to confirm a Houston convenience store was selling gas for $20 per gallon – nearly ten times the statewide average.

Gasoline isn’t the only item subject to price gouging as the Attorney General’s office has received complaints of stores charging $99 for a case of water. Some hotels have also been reported for charging three to four times their usual rates.

Store owners might be trying to make a quick buck by they face serious consequences if caught. In Texas, price gougers face a fine of between $20,000 and $250,000 for every incidence of price gouging during natural disasters.


  • Kash

    okay, AND? Leave that for actual news sites to cover, you guys are a car blog, stick to cars.

    • Dr Phil McCavitai DDS

      What is your problem…..deal with it. If you don’t like this one, fold up your tent or shut off the basement lights and move on.

      • seriously

        lol this is a classic burn

    • ChrisInIL

      Carscoops Editorial Staff: “This is about the hurricane….wait, gas station. Gas goes into cars. Meh, close enough!”

    • cooper

      I still think the majority of autos use gasoline. Wake up.

  • SCABS.

  • john1168

    [email protected]!!! I say fine them and then force them to give out free gas for a day!

    • gary4205

      It would be cheaper if they were forced to give out free gas for a WEEK than the fines they are about to be hit with!

      • john1168

        Agreed. I just saw on the news that they could get hit with a $25,000 fine for each violation or occurance. I don’t know if that means 25k for each driver that paid the higher price or for each time they raised the price. It should be for each driver but that’s me.

  • cooper

    Who wants to guess if the gas station own is a trump supporter. Umm yes he is. He posted trump signs all last year.

    • gary4205

      Meaningless. Not that I support that left wing democrat pig Trump.

      The fact is Houston voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton. I’m sure people who voted for her have abused those in need as well.

      In fact, Louisiana sent the Cajun Navy to aid in search in rescue in Houston.

      Houston is the only Texas city out of a massive area hit by Harvey that has exerienced looting.

      These looters, Hillary supporters, were SHOOTING at the people doing rescues!

      Louisiana told their people to “stand down”

      This is America in 2017.

      • cooper

        How do you put looters “people stealing food” with some white trash trump supporter ripping people off with $20/gallon gas? Hillary didn’t win, Trump did. Stop whining and own it.

        “Louisiana told their people to “stand down” “Please post where you found this ? And it can’t be one of your alt right white supremacy website.

    • S3XY

      Texas is a gas state. No surprise.

    • thunder bolt

      You’re just another libtard using unfortunate event to make a guessing statement, how low will you go?

      • cooper

        You’re sounding like another uneducated person just parroting other uneducated people. Fact is, look up this gas station and see who own’s it !

    • FastRabbit08PL

      What Trump has to do with this?

  • gary4205

    Texas doesn’t play. Price gouging is defined as charging more than ten percent over market rate.

    And the fine is $20,000 PER INSTANCE. Meaning each individual sale.

    The fine rises to $250,000 PER INSTANCE if the victim is 65 or older.

    The Texas Attorney General’s Office aggressively prosecutes all offenders.

  • S3XY

    Drive electric and dont worry about gas. Texsux.

    • ace_9

      Good luck with charging your electric toy in flooded area…

      • fabri99

        Hydrogen powered cars though… those would definitely rise in this situation!

    • Dennis James

      They would probably short-circuit long before you could drive them in that weather 🙂

  • ace_9

    Well, I would not expect nothing else after I read about situation years after the hurricane Katrina in the past. America is the land of opportunity and full of intelligent and caring people only in movies… And modern technologies with instant information all over the world are starting to uncover this ugly truth.

    • LJ

      Actually, what’s happening in Houston and Texas is the exact opposite of your cynical claim of doom and gloom. There has been some looting, sure, but the humanity on display has been overwhelmingly positive.

  • Vassilis


  • Infinite1

    That’s nothing new, they did that with Hurricane Rita, Katrina, Ike, and Tropical Storm Allison. When I was in Houston last week right before the storm, I’ve seen a few gas stations at 10/gallon and they were climbing as the Hurricane approached.

  • lbmouse

    Yeah unrestricted capitalism. The libertarian free-market at work.

    • cooper


  • Wolverine350R

    Just curious, wouldn’t all the hotels that upped their prices by 10x during the eclipse be in this boat too? I saw $120 hotels charging $800-$1200 for a room. I was surprised not to see it at the gas stations.

  • salamOOn

    SO? Let them do that. I guess it’s pretty normal when there is a higher or usual demand and limited supplies….. but i will never go to that station again after everything is back in normal.

  • Blade t

    Sometimes these crazy price hikes aren’t only about profits ,but about trying to control your product inventory. If you raise your price it will sell slower . If you sell at normal price it’s gone and then you know there is no replacement truck coming for a long time….in the end it’s still messed up to do and I’m sure the owner heard many insults from customers…..

    • Dennis James

      This explanation doesn’t hold water.

      • Blade t

        I know ,It holds gasoline ….

  • LJ

    Technically, this isn’t price gouging… this is supply and demand economics 101.

    Forcing a gas station to sell a scarce product for normal price will only make it scarcer more quickly. If that gas station decides to sell it for the same price or give it away, that’s their prerogative and a fine gesture, but it’s not the government’s job to get involved.

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