House Democrats pass legislation oil and gas companies accountable for price gouging
May 19, 2022
Washington, DC – Today, House Democrats voted to pass the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act. Introduced by Rep. Kim Schrier (D-WA) and Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), the bill would crack down on oil and gas companies that are price-gouging consumers, empowering the President to make unlawful the unconscionably excessive and exploitative prices for gasoline and home heating fuels.
Since Putin’s war, funded on fossil fuel profits to Russia, gas prices have skyrocketed despite the President using stores from the strategic petroleum reserve, which was established after the oil crisis in the 1970s. Consumers have been paying without impunity at the pump when the oil industry has been profiting from the war situation.
The top five oil companies (Shell, Exxon Mobil, BP, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips) reported more than $35 billion in profits in just the first quarter of 2022.
The bill would also empower the Federal Trade Commission to issue penalties on companies that are price gouging. The bill further protects low-income families by allocating the fines collected to a Consumer Relief Trust Fund, which can be used to fund investments in making homes more energy efficient.
- H.R. 7688, the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act, would crack down on oil and gas companies that are price gouging consumers byl:
- Empower the president to issue an Emergency Declaration to make unconscionably excessive and exploitative prices for gasoline and home heating oil unlawful.
- Allow the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to issue penalties on companies that are price gouging, with enforcement priority placed on large oil companies with total sales in excess of $500 million per year.
- Invest in low-wealth communities by making funds available to assist with energy efficiency and weatherization.
- Protect low-income families most impacted by Big Oil’s price gouging by allocating the fines collected to a Consumer Relief Trust Fund, which can be used to fund the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), which invests in making low-income homes more energy efficient.
There are also efforts being led by Congressional Democrats to implement a windfall profits tax that returns Big Oil’s runaway profits back to taxpayers. These efforts could be paired with the repeal of the generous subsidies that the fossil fuel industry continues to collect from the federal government. Despite their skyrocketing profits, the industry remains one of the most heavily subsidized sectors of our entire economy. They are expected to receive $121 billion in tax giveaways over the next decade.
To achieve true energy independence and energy security, we must rapidly transition to a clean energy economy and move away from volatile fossil fuels