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Demings introduces legislation to investigate gas price gouging

Reps. Nadler, Cicilline, and Castor join her on The Oil and Gas Industry Antitrust Act

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Representatives Val Demings (FL-10), Jerry Nadler (NY-10), David Cicilline (RI-01), and Kathy Castor (FL-14) introduced The Oil and Gas Industry Antitrust Act, legislation to require the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate price manipulation in the gasoline market, including refinery capacity reductions and market monopoly conditions. The FTC will also be required to report to Congress a long-term strategy to stabilize oil and gas prices during national crises.

“As the daughter of a maid and a janitor, my family knew the value of every dollar," said Demings, whose District-10 represents parts of Central Florida including Apopka. "When we turn on the news, we see record oil company profits side by side with high gas prices for Florida families. These high prices are caused not just by Putin’s war but also by corporate practices that put profits before working families. We’ve seen it over and over... an emergency gives companies an excuse to spike their prices, then the emergency ends, and gas prices don’t go back down. Our legislation will protect Florida families from rising gas prices by giving us the tools to crack down on corporate price gouging and ensuring that our economy is based on a true free market, where businesses operate fairly and compete to offer lower prices to American consumers.”

The Oil and Gas Industry Antitrust Act requires the Federal Trade Commission to conduct an investigation “to determine if the price of gasoline is being manipulated by reducing refinery capacity or by any other form of market manipulation or artificially increased by price-gouging practices.” In conducting the investigation, the FTC may consider “the impact of mergers and acquisitions in the oil and gas industry, including mergers and acquisitions involving producers, refiners, transporters, and gas stations.”

The FTC must report to Congress within 270 days of enactment a report on the investigation, plus a long-term strategy for the Commission and Congress to address manipulation of oil and gas markets during times of national or international crisis or emergency.

Rep. Demings has been vocal in Congress on the gas price issue during Putin’s war. She previously led calls for the Administration to “exercise all options available to bring down the cost of gasoline now,” specifically calling for a release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and opposing false scarcity from OPEC+ producers, ending excessive U.S. gasoline exports, cracking down on illegal price manipulations in the oil and gas market, and fining producers for deliberately not using existing drilling sites.

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