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Price gouging laws in effect for NC, SC as gas shortage continues

The average price for a gallon of gas in Charlotte climbed to $2.85 Wednesday. North Carolina's price gouging law took effect after Gov. Cooper's state of emergency.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The rush continues for many Americans as they race to fill their gas tanks after the Colonial Pipeline, which is responsible for about half of the East Coast's fuel supply, was targeted by Russian hackers. 

As a result, over 70% of Charlotte gas stations are out of fuel and the price of gas continues to go up. According to GasBuddy, the average price for a gallon of gas in Charlotte is $2.85, up 9 cents from Tuesday. Statewide, 65% of North Carolina stations don't have fuel, according to GasBuddy. 

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency earlier this week to help ensure adequate fuel supplies could be delivered. As part of that state of emergency, North Carolina's price gouging law went into effect. This prohibits businesses from overcharging during times of crisis. 

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“North Carolina’s price gouging law is in effect – please let my office know if businesses or people might be trying to profit off this situation so we can hold them accountable,” Attorney General Josh Stein said.

RELATED: Where are the gas shortages in my area?

How to report price gouging in North Carolina

You can report high gas prices or price gouging by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint with the NCDOJ’s office. The office will then review the complaints closely and possibly take action against a business.

How to report price gouging in South Carolina

South Carolina offers multiple ways to report price gouging. Consumers can email any example of overcharging to pricegouging@scag.gov. Suspected price gouging can also be reported at this link, or you can call 803-733-3953. 

RELATED: Why are people panic buying gas? A psychiatrist explains.

WCNC Charlotte is seeking solutions by finding a resource for residents who don't want to drive all around town, trying to find which stations have gas and which don't. If you absolutely need to get gas, try using this Gas Buddy Tracker to find out where the shortages are. Just search for your zip code, and it will list which stations have fuel.