Ban on 'excessive' gasoline prices ahead of House vote

Ban on ‘excessive’ gasoline prices ahead of House vote

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The US president would have the power to declare an emergency that would make it illegal to sell gasoline at “excessive” prices under legislation House Democrats plan to introduce next week.

The effort, announced May 12 by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, comes as Democrats seek to blame record gas prices on the oil industry, fearing angry voters will punish Democrats during midterm elections in November.

“Excessive pricing needs to be stopped,” Pelosi told a news conference. “This is major consumer exploitation.”

Legislation up for a vote, the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act, would also give the Federal Trade Commission the power to impose penalties for price gouging, according to a summary of the legislation. The measure would prioritize penalizing large companies, while protecting independent gas stations.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also said he plans to introduce legislation strengthening the Federal Trade Commission’s power to tackle the manipulation of gasoline prices. This effort is unlikely to attract the Republican support needed to move to the equally divided Senate.

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