Right, that's the point.If you are late to heed the warnings and find yourself in a panic along with all the other dumbasses who didn’t take the warnings seriously you will pay what ever you need to to get some gas and that’s where the gouging can occur.
We're taking issue with the prohibitions against "gouging." To the extent that "gouging" prohibitions work, they reduce supply and result in less equitable rationing.
While jacking the price in the face of a crisis seems unfair, it actually provides a valuable economic function.
At $2.50/gallon, I have little incentive not to get as much fuel as I can, irrespective of how that impacts others. But at $10/gallon, I have to weigh the benefit of any additional gallon, against other necessities like food and water.
I'm in New England. Here comes a Nor'easter, so gouging laws go into effect. At $2.50, maybe I load up on fuel to run my whole house gennie constantly. And because of the gouging laws, water is still running $3/case at Wally World. I load that up too. Better hope you don't get there after me.
But at $10/gal, maybe I decide that I don't need to run the gennie constantly. It's not worth it at that price. Maybe I decide I only really need to run the furnace every so often, and the fridge/ freezer every few hours so my food doesn't spoil. I can get buy with oil and battery lanterns for limited dark hours I'll be awake.
Similarly, maybe I don't need 5 cases of water if it doubled in price. A little bit for drinking and I'll fill the bathtub for tasks like flushing the brown down (lotta septic systems up here over sewer).
Yes, if I think I absolutely need every drop of fuel and water I can get, maybe I'll still pay whatever the cost. But for most people, higher prices will put into perspective what they actually need to get by.