BREAKING NEWS: Governor declares state of emergency as gas prices rise

Published 7:21 am Friday, September 12, 2008

By Staff
Gov. Bob Riley on Friday afternoon declared a state of emergency for Alabama after he received new information from the U.S. Department of Energy that energy shortages will likely occur in the state due to Hurricane Ike.
Gas prices around the state have risen as high as $6 per gallon or more in some areas. The highest price in Brewton Friday afternoon was $4.65, although at least one station was still selling gas for $3.53 per gallon.
The governor's declaration notes that "disruption of essential utility services, systems and severe energy shortages will likely occur."
Earlier in the day, the governor's office noted that an Alabama governor's ability to declare a state of emergency was very limited. By law, an Alabama governor cannot declare a state of emergency unless there has been or there is anticipated to be an attack on the United States, a natural disaster of major proportions impacting Alabama or a public health emergency.
"I believe this new information means a threat to public health is a strong possibility due to the shortage of fuels," Riley said. "I deem it an emergency."
The state law that prohibits "unconscionable pricing" of items for sale or rent goes into effect when the governor has declared a state of emergency.