The Council of State Governments
September 2008
States Monitor Gas Prices

By Jack Penchoff

Before Hurricane Ike made landfall over the weekend, some states were already taking action to prevent the potential of price gouging.

According to the Congressional Research Service, at least 30 states plus the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands have laws that prohibit price gouging, excessive price increases, or unconscionable pricing. Most states have laws that are triggered in the event of a declared emergency, with a few having laws that may be applicable at other times as well. Other states may also exercise authority under general deceptive trade practice laws depending on the nature of the state law and the specific circumstances in which price increases occur.

Tools You Can Use

Click here to access the following resources:
  • Price Gouging after Disasters
  • Alternative Fuel Sales--2008 Energy Supplement
  • Enthanol Production Incentive
  • Ethanol Minimum Standards Legislation
In This Issue
Dwindling Transportation Budgets
Cellulosic Ethanol
Mutual Aid Agreements

Upcoming Meetings
& Events

Join Our Mailing List!
 From the Expert:
The Road to Dwindling Transportation Budgets
Sean Slone
By Sean Slone, CSG Policy Analyst

With high gas prices prompting many Americans to cut back on driving this summer, states are finding their two main sources of transportation funding are drying up even faster than expected. That threatens to delay or bring to a halt ongoing work on roads, rails and bridges around the country and could potentially lead to the loss of thousands of jobs. The declining revenues also come at a time when costs for asphalt and other construction materials are straining state transportation budgets.

Read the full story

Tools You Can Use
States Turn to Cellulosic Ethanol

By Mikel Chavers

At a time of record food prices around the globe, some states are turning to the next generation in biofuels. The new stuff is called cellulosic ethanol-which can be made from switchgrass crops, woodchips and agricultural waste-and not necessarily from the corn we eat.

Experts tout the new fuel as "the new magic word" and states are already taking steps to embrace the biofuel. Pennsylvania passed the first cellulosic fuel mandate this year and Tennessee and Kentucky are moving forward with plans to build cutting edge cellulosic ethanol biorefineries.  

"We all hope we can shift to cellulosic ethanol which we all hope won't be quite as competitive with our general food system," said renowned Purdue University economist Wallace Tyner.
Read the full story

Tools You Can Use
Help is on the Way

By Beverly Bell

It started with a twister.

On Sunday, May 25, 2008, an EF-5 tornado roared through the town of Parkersburg, Iowa. The small town was ripped in two, with one side relatively untouched, the other side decimated. Winds reached more than 200 miles per hour. Eight people were killed in the tornado.

The same weather pattern that produced the storm also generated record-breaking rainfall and devastating flooding throughout the region in the spring.

But despite the widespread devastation, Iowa's communities were able to deploy resources to other areas in the state thanks to a special type of state agreement called an intrastate mutual aid agreement, a tool state officials can use when disaster and emergency strikes.

Read the full story

Tools You Can Use

About State News | About CSG | Capitol Comments Blog | State Trends & Policy
Contact State News Magazine | Upcoming Events | Send us a News Tip

75th Logo
State News Magazine
2760 Research Park Drive | P.O. Box 11910
Lexington, KY 40578-1910