Gov. Deal issues price gouging executive order after average gas price in Georgia jumps

Many metro Atlanta gas pumps are dry after a gasoline spill in Alabama.

After a gasoline pipeline spill significantly lowered the amount of gas entering the state, prices at the pump rose.

According to reports, the spill happened in a part of the pipeline in Helena, a rural part of Birmingham, Ala. The spill, which leaked more than 250,000 gallons of gasoline, was first detected on Sept. 9. But at this time officials don't know when the leak first began.

PHOTOS | Gas pipeline leak in Alabama

Monday morning Gov. Deal issued an executive order prohibiting price gouging.

Last week the average price of a regular gallon of gas was around $2.17 and $2.15 according to GasBuddy and AAA. On Monday, the average price is around $2.47 for the state.

MORE INFORMATION | Pump Problems: What we know so far about the gas leak, shortage

After reports of prices shooting up to $5 in some places, consumers have been asking about price gouging. 

According to the Georgia Consumer Protection Unit's website, a two-step process has to occur in order for sky-high prices to be considered gouging. First, the Governor has to declare a state of emergency for the state, which is already in place. Gov. Deal activated the emergency this past week in order to suspend limitations on trucking hours, allowing drivers to stay on the road longer to bring fuel to the state. 

Once the state of emergency has been declared, the governor then has to issue a freeze on prices for a service or a product for them to be subject to price control.

Steve Baker of Colonial Pipeline says the company proceeding toward fixing the problem. 

"We're making good progress," Baker told 11Alive's Jon Shirek on Monday evening. "We're still just projecting a restart this week. As we make more progress, I should be able to narrow that down."

PHOTOS | Metro-area residents impacted by gas shortage


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