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Kaptur urges Public Participation as FTC eyes Gasoline Price Manipulation

May 6, 2008: U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) urged public participation as the Federal Trade Commission drafts new rules to prevent market manipulation at the gasoline pump and throughout the petroleum industry.

“Record high gasoline prices are squeezing American families and hurting our economy,” said Congresswoman Kaptur. “I supported legislation to give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) greater power to prevent manipulation of prices at the pump, and now the public has an opportunity to help shape the new rules to fight back.”

Congress gave the FTC new authority under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.  The agency is seeking public comments through
June 6, 2008 as it considers how to determine

whether oil and gasoline prices are being manipulated. FTC Chairman William E. Kovacic said the request for public comment “...is an important part of our effort ... to protect the American people.”

Congresswoman Kaptur said the congressional legislation prohibits anyone from using any “manipulative or deceptive device on contrivance, in contravention of such rules and regulations as the Federal Trade Commission may prescribe...”

“Most consumers believe that gasoline prices are manipulated in some fashion,” Kaptur said.  “Now the public has an opportunity to address this issue and propose solutions, especially focusing on what constitutes manipulation or deceptive behavior on the part of the oil companies and gasoline retailers as well as what the appropriate penalties should be.”

Citizens can send comments by e-mail by visiting the following site:  https://secure.commentworks.com/ftc-marketmanipulationANPR/ .  Written comments should be mailed to: Market Manipulation Rulemaking, P.O. Box 2846, Fairfax, VA 22031-0846.  All comments should include the following notation: Market Manipulation Rulemaking, PO82900.

After reviewing the public comments, the FTC will propose a rule to implement the provisions of the congressional legislation.







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