Friday, May 25, 2007

House Passes Bill That Makes "Price Gouging" by Oil and Gas Companies a Federal Crime

On Wednesday, the House passed HR1252 (Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act) by a vote of 284-141, which would make the "unconscionable pricing of gasoline" during emergencies by oil and gas companies a federal crime. Section 3 imposes civil penalties, under the Federal Trade Commission Act, of not more than 3 times the amount of profits gained by the violation, or not more than $3 million. In addition to the civil penalties, the Act imposes criminal penalties under title 18 of the United States Code of $150 million for corporations and $2 million or not more than 10 years imprisonment for individuals.

The bill is currently under review by Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

View text of HR1252.