WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Assistant Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Katherine Clark (MA-5) voted to pass legislation to help crack down on price gouging by major gas companies and bring down prices at the pump. The Oil and Gas Industry Antitrust Act would 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.
“If oil prices are decreasing, gas prices should be too. Yet, as Americans struggle to fill the tank, oil and gas CEOs are lining their pockets,” said Assistant Speaker Clark. “Today, House Democrats stood up for families by passing legislation to investigate price manipulation in the gasoline market and institute reporting measures to hold these companies accountable during crises. We will not stand idly by as American families face rising costs.”
The Oil and Gas Industry Antitrust Act requires the Federal Trade Commission to investigate “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 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.