Authorities approve law against diesel price gouging
The House of Representatives has approved legislation aimed at combating price gouging by oil companies as gas station prices continue to rise.
The bill supported by Democrats in the House of Representatives would make it illegal to speculate on the cost of fuel. Companies that increase prices will receive fines.
US President Joe Biden said fighting high inflation and gas prices is a priority for his administration ahead of the November congressional elections. The focus on price gouging comes as gas prices averaged $4.59 a gallon on Thursday, up 49 cents a gallon from a month ago and $1.55 from a year ago.
Diesel currently averages over $5.80 per gallon in the US, while gasoline is almost $4.60.
“At a time when people across the country are struggling with fuel, Congress must do everything it can to keep costs down for American families,” said Rep. Kim Schrier, D-Washington.
At a time when the price of fuel is rising, gas and oil companies are making record profits, he said. This must be stopped.
Republicans and industry groups called the bill misguided, saying there was no evidence of price gouging. Oil is a global commodity and its prices are set on the world market.
The four Democrats who opposed the House bill were Representatives Lizzie Fletcher of Texas, Jared Golden of Maine, Stephanie Murphy of Florida, and Kathleen Rice of New York.
Gas prices rose late last year amid supply chain problems and increased demand as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, prices rose even more. The United States has banned the import of Russian oil, and other countries are looking for alternatives to Russian energy, driving up the cost.