Senator John Kerry today wrote a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) asking it to investigate to determine if there has been price gouging at gas stations in Western Massachusetts.
Kerry's request comes after hearing from North Adams Mayor John Barrett of various instances of manipulation throughout the region.
"Thousands of people throughout Western Massachusetts are paying an arm and a leg at the pump. It's time for the federal government to take charge and investigate why prices have increased so dramatically while oil companies enjoy windfall profits," said Senator Kerry. "It's not just the possibility of price gouging that's outrageous. It's also the blatant inaction in Washington about our long-term energy crisis. We have to get serious about making America energy independent. This crisis affects hits people in the wallets, but it also hurts New England's economy as a whole, degrades our environment and even threatens our national security."
The text of the letter is as follows:
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20580
Dear Chairwoman Majoras,
I am writing to express my concern regarding reports of gasoline price manipulation in my home state of Massachusetts. I have heard concerns from several mayors in the western part of the state citing significant variations in gasoline prices within their towns and communities.
As escalating gas prices place a tremendous burden on households and businesses, we must ensure that our citizens are not subject to unfair prices. We must ensure that individual stations do not artificially inflate prices for personal gain.
In response to concerns from the mayor of North Adams and other western Massachusetts communities, I respectfully request that you initiate an investigation of reported gasoline price gouging in the western part of the state.
Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I look forward to working with you to ensure the continued wellbeing of our communities.
United States Senate