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Yarmuth Supporting Two Bills This Week to Regulate Gas Prices

Legislation Tackles Oil Company Collusion and Price Gouging

(Washington, DC) This week, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) and the House of Representatives will consider two pieces of legislation aimed at cutting soaring gas prices. 

“The oil industry is raking in world-record profits by picking the pockets of consumers with inflated gas prices,” Congressman Yarmuth said.  “The American public is being gouged at the pump, and it’s time for Congress to step in and stop it.”

Today, the House will debate the first bill, S. 879, the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act (NOPEC), which would extend the Sherman Antitrust Act to international oil companies, banning collusion that inflates the price of oil.  Currently, the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC) is not subject to United States Antitrust laws, even within U.S. borders.

The second bill, H.R. 1252, The Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act, will be considered tomorrow and prevents the artificial inflation of the cost of energy and gives the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) authority to investigate and punish those responsible.  Although the FTC has found refiners, wholesalers, and retailers have at times charged significantly higher prices that were not attributable to either increased costs or national or international market trends.  However, the FTC has never brought a gas price gouging case to court, because the federal government has never adequately defined price gouging or given the FTC the tools to properly prosecute price gouging. 

The bills come to the floor as Louisville’s gas prices reached record highs this week.