Republicans in Congress prevent passage of Price Gouging Bill

Enough Republicans hung in there to prevent passage of massive criminal penalties for oil companies engaged in so-called price gouging.

Following a White House veto threat, the House of Representatives on Tuesday failed to passed legislation giving the Federal Trade Commission the authority to punish oil companies that charged excessive prices for gasoline during supply emergencies.

The vote was 276-to-146 in favor of the bill, falling short of winning the two-thirds "yes" votes necessary to clear the chamber.

Under the legislation, companies could have been fined up to $150 million for gouging consumers at the pump and individuals faced a fine of up to $2 million and a 10-year prison term. . . .

Here is what is defined as "price gouging" involving gasoline.

It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, at wholesale or at retail in an area and during a period of an energy emergency, gasoline or any other petroleum distillate covered by a proclamation issued under paragraph (2) at a price that--
(A) is unconscionably excessive; and
(B) indicates the seller is taking unfair advantage of the circumstances related to an energy emergency to increase prices unreasonably.

That should be very clear. All the companies have to do is keep their prices below an "unconscionably excessive" level. If someone knows what that means, could you please drop me a line?

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Blogger Christen Hathaway said...

"unconscionably excessive" -- whatever Congress(your real conscience) deems excessive -- of course, that definition can change depending on which party runs Congress

6/25/2008 9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A minor proofread: you want the first sentence to read "Enough Republicans hung in there..."


6/26/2008 1:49 PM  

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