"Back in the 1970's we tried price controls."
I remember that and it didn't work.
I'm speaking about localized disasters. If the price to a retailer goes up, he should be allowed to raise his prices accordingly. He should not be allowed to gouge me in life - death situations.
What's localized about having 20% of the entire US refining capacity shut down? High prices discourage low value consumption like driving on a vacation. Also considering the infrastructure for delivering more supplies to the areas affected by the hurricane was damaged, the cost of delivering more supplies increased. Much of the refined products had to be diverted to places where they normally don't go. I'd rather have high prices and available supply than fixed prices and no supply, especially after a natural disaster.