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La Liga de Las Americas

Kaptur, Kucinich, Sutton, Conyers stand up to price gouging at the Gasoline Pumps

A bill co-sponsored by U.S. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) to outlaw gasoline price gouging cleared its first hurdle May 23, 2007 [HR 1252]. 

Kaptur co-sponsored the Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a 284-141 margin and now goes to the U.S. Senate for consideration.  The bill would make it a federal crime to gouge consumers at the gasoline pump.  Republican President George W. Bush has threatened a veto.

All but one Democrat voted for the bill, including Congresspersons Dennis Kucinich, Betty Sutton, and John Conyers; almost two-thirds of the Republicans voted against the bill. A record of the voting can be found at: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2007/roll404.xml.

“These outrageous gasoline prices are hurting families and threatening our economy," said Democrat Congresswoman Kaptur.

“I've been hearing more complaints from constituents about gasoline prices than any other issue.  People know they're getting ripped off and they want their government to do something about it. At a time when it costs consumers $50 or more to fill up, the multinational oil companies, which control the supply of gasoline, are raking in record profits and giving their executives millions of dollars in salaries.”

The Price Gouging Prevention Act would set civil and criminal penalties for anyone who sells gasoline, crude oil, natural gas, or petroleum distillates at a price that is unconscionably excessive or which indicates the seller is taking unfair advantage of unusual market conditions or the circumstances of an emergency.

Fines and penalties would be deposited in a separate fund in the treasury known as the Consumer Relief Trust Fund, which would provide assistance under the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance program.





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