iFiberOne: U.S. House passes local congresswoman’s fuel price gouging bill; law would stop excessive price hikes

The congressional representative of Chelan and Kittitas counties could be the reason why we’d never see fuel price hikes like the ones we’ve seen as of late again in America. The U.S. House passed Democratic District 8 Congresswoman Kim Schrier’s Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act this week.

“At a time when people in my district and across the country are feeling the pain of high prices at the gas pump, Congress needs to be doing all we can to bring down costs,” said Congresswoman Schrier. “Gas prices in my neighborhood were already high at $5/ gallon. Now, for no apparent reason, prices are up another 10% in the last week, at $5.50/ gallon. Meanwhile, neither the price of a barrel of oil nor the cost of refining have changed appreciably. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) needs to have the power to investigate and crack down when there is evidence of real gouging.”

Schrier’s bill would give the President the authority to issue an Energy Emergency Declaration that would make it unlawful to increase gasoline and home energy fuel prices in an excessive or exploitative manner. It would give the FTC more resources to curtail price gouging to protect consumers. The FTC would have the power to issue penalties and would prioritize enforcement action on large gas and oil companies.

Last month, Rep. Schrier pushed executives of six of the largest gas and oil companies to do more to bring down the price at the pump, especially when these companies have made record profits. Congresswoman Schrier recently brought up the issue of rising gas prices with Secretary of the Department of Energy Jennifer Granholm during an Energy Subcommittee budget hearing.