Iowa Senators Want Investigation into Post-Derecho Price Gouging

Senate Finance Chair Chuck Grassley and fellow Iowa Senator Joni Ernst are asking the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate price gouging in the state. The Hagstrom Report says the senators accuse some companies of overcharging for the equipment and materials Iowans for them to make repairs after the derecho storm system. Grassley and Ernst co-authored letters to both agencies that say, “We have heard concerns about possible price gouging of necessary goods and services, as well as scams targeting victims of the derecho.” They say Iowans, especially farmers, have told them they face prohibitive costs in acquiring the materials and equipment they need to rebuild their homes and livelihoods. “The costs for farmers to remove, repair, or replace grain bins alone will total hundreds of millions of dollars,” the letter says. “We will not let scammers and price gougers use this tragedy to raise prices to sky-high levels and thwart Iowa’s population from repairing and rebuilding their homes, businesses, and communities.” Grassley and Ernst tell both agencies that it’s imperative that they investigate allegations of wrongdoing, fraud, and price gouging related to the Iowa derecho, and aggressively pursue the individuals who engage in these illegal activities.