Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Thursday ordered state officials to begin regular surveys of gasoline prices around the state in an effort to stop gouging.

Under the executive order, the state will give consumers pricing information, and any possibly unfair prices will be reported to the attorney general.

Granholm, who became governor last month, said she wanted to prevent a recurrence of apparent gouging prompted by fears about national security after Sept. 11, 2001.

"The anxiety felt by consumers in those difficult days has begun to reappear in recent weeks as gas prices have increased dramatically," she said in a statement.

AAA Michigan said Monday that the state's average price for self-serve regular gasoline last week was $1.70 a gallon, 56 cents higher than a year ago.

The governor acknowledged that prices have been volatile in part because of uncertainty over war in Iraq and a slowdown in oil imports from Venezuela but said they still bear watching.

Granholm urged passage of bills by two Democrats that would expressly ban price gouging during states of emergency declared by the governor. The law now contains no specific ban on gasoline price gouging.

While attorney general, Granholm took action against 48 service stations that had raised prices sharply in the days after the Sept. 11 terrorism. The stations were required to refund more than $100,000 in overcharges to consumers and to pay about $30,000 in civil penalties to the state, Granholm said.