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Stabenow Fights for $500 Energy Rebate for Middle Class Families

Location: Washngton, DC

Stabenow Fights for $500 Energy Rebate for Middle Class Families

Legislation to provide relief from high gasoline, home heating costs

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow today introduced legislation to provide an immediate $500 cash rebate to help Michigan families with the high costs of gasoline and home heating.

"Michigan families, farmers and businesses are taking a one-two punch - facing a big jump in gas prices and expensive home heating costs," Stabenow said. "Fuel isn't a luxury item for people in Michigan, it's a necessity, and my Energy Tax Rebate Act will help middle class families pay for this necessity."

Stabenow's bill would give a $500 rebate check to families earning up to $119,950. The rebate would be available within 30 days of the bill's enactment to provide immediate help to families.

"In Michigan a gallon of gas costs an average of 36 percent more than it did last year, and natural gas and propane are also showing tremendous jumps in price," said Stabenow. "Winter is coming very quickly - we need to act now to help our Michigan families, who face higher heating costs as well as higher transportation costs."

"While Michigan families are paying record prices for energy, oil companies are doing just fine - reporting record profits for the third year in a row," Stabenow said. "The Energy Tax Rebate Act includes specific tools to stop price-gouging and price-fixing by the oil companies."

Earlier this year, Stabenow directed the Federal Trade Commission to launch an investigation into oil companies' pricing and profit practices. The Energy Tax Rebate Act requires price transparency for petroleum products, allows states to impose civil penalties for price gouging, and prohibits geographic price-setting and territorial restrictions imposed by refiners.

The Stabenow bill also presses Congress to fully fund the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which provides home heating assistance to seniors and low income families.

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