Crist Statement on House Passage of Bill to Stop Big Oil Price Gouging

U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) issued the following statement after House passage of H.R.7688, the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act, legislation to lower costs at the pump by putting an end to Big Oil’s price gouging. The bill passed the House by a vote of 217-207 and now heads to the Senate for consideration. 

"While American families are struggling to make ends meet with higher prices at the pump, Big Oil is making a killing," said Rep. Crist. "Oil companies are taking advantage of the crisis in Ukraine by manipulating the market to keep production low and gas prices artificially high. Unconscionable! That’s why I am proud to support the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act to stop this exploitative behavior and hold Big Oil accountable. Let's put an end to corporate greed and do the right thing For the People!"

The Consumer Price Gouging Prevention Act, which would be the first-ever federal law against price gouging, would:

     o Grant the President the power to declare an energy emergency that would make it illegal to sell consumer fuels – such as car fuel, aviation fuel, and home heating oil and liquid propane – at an excessive and exploitative price during an energy emergency;

     o Give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the power to issue penalties to fuel wholesalers and retailers for price gouging; with priority enforcement against large companies with total sales of over $500 million per year;

     o Direct the collected penalties to a Consumer Relief Trust Fund, which could be used to provide direct relief to the American people through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP);

      o Protect independently owned gas stations from taking the blame for price gouging or supply chain issues since they have no control over the market; and
      o Double penalties for market manipulation and improve transparency into the secretive oil market.

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