Says Democratic Congress Will Investigate and Prosecute Price Gouging
Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) today expressed his deep concern about the rising price of gasolinewhich set a national record this past weekend by reaching an average of $3.07 per gallon.
"The price of gasoline is completely out of control," Hare said. "We've gotten to a point where some volunteers are unable to deliver Meals on Wheels' because they cannot afford to fill their tanks."
Illinois residents are paying an average of $3.17 per gallon, ten cents above the all-time national record. "Congress has a responsibility to do everything in its power to stop the bleeding," Hare said.
Hare is an original co-sponsor of Rep. Bart Stupak's (D-MI) legislation to provide the Federal Trade Commission with new authority to investigate and prosecute those who engage in predatory pricing, market manipulation, and other unfair practices, with an emphasis on those who profit most. Exxon-Mobil is coming off its best first quarter ever, earning $9.3 billion between January and March as Americans saw gas prices skyrocket above $3.00 per gallon.
"We need to bring these oil executives back before Congress and start asking some tough questions," Hare said. "I do not buy the argument that these latest price hikes are somehow cyclical in nature."
Hare said another key to reducing the price of gasoline is to make America more energy independent. In January, he voted for a bill to redirect $14 billion in Republican tax cuts for oil companies into the expansion of renewable fuels. "Big oil doesn't need our help," Hare said. "Shifting money towards clean, renewable energy is good for Illinois' agriculture economy and can help bring some relief at the pump."