Energy Department using Web to collect price gouging data

The Energy Department is collecting information on possible price gouging at the gas pump through its Web site—and the public is responding in droves.

“The price gouging [link] is big; it allows people to tell us what they see with regard to gas prices in their regions,” said DOE spokesman Craig Stevens. “If there is the potential for price fixing or collusion, we pass it on to the Federal Trade Commission.” Stevens added that the Gaswatch Web site has “got a lot of play the last couple of days,” with more than 5,000 hits Sept. 1 alone.

With gas prices soaring following the disruption of service at fuel refineries and in distribution systems in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, consumers are paying attention to every increase.

In addition to soliciting public input on gasoline prices, the department has been utilizing its Hurricane Visualization Room, according to Stevens.

“It overlays locations of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, refineries, natural gas pipelines, the oil pipelines and any major electrical outlets,” such as a nuclear power site in the region, “with the effects of the storm, so we’re able to see exactly where some of our potential trouble spots are.”

One headache arising from the Category 4 storm: The administrative headquarters for the petroleum reserve is located in the region, and it was lost to flooding. “A lot of the information is on the server down there and not available now,” Stevens said.

About the Author

Connect with the GCN staff on Twitter @GCNtech.

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.