Rockefeller, Cantwell Fight Gas Pricing Fraud

March 25, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) today joined Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) in urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to fully utilize its authority to make sure that American consumers are paying a fair price for gas. Gas prices have spiked recently, hurting families from coast to coast and threatening economic recovery.

“Even a small gas price increase translates to significant costs for consumers in West Virginia and across America, including higher costs for food and other essentials,” Rockefeller said. “When prices rise, many struggle to make ends meet, and must make difficult decisions about family budgets. Recently, the rapid spike in gas prices has caused more financial woe for already struggling Americans. To reduce the risk that fraud or deceit in the petroleum market could wreak havoc on working families who rely on competitive gas prices to get to work or the grocery store, it is critical that the FTC aggressively use all of its authority to make sure people are paying a fair price.”

“While oil speculators on Wall Street may be profiting from Middle East turmoil, families and businesses on Main Street are footing the bill at the gas pump,” Cantwell said. “Unlike when gas prices spiked suspiciously in the summer of 2008, the Federal Trade Commission now has the necessary tools to be the cop on the beat protecting consumers from artificial gas price hikes. Today, we’re calling for the FTC to put those tools to use to protect families and businesses across the country.”