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July 16, 2007
With the passage of energy legislation in both the House and Senate, Congress has embarked on its latest effort to root out the alleged oil industry conspiracy that makes filling up the family SUV a $75 experience. Amidst charges of "price manipulation," both the House and the Senate have Anti-Price Gouging legislation that is supposed to send oil industry executives to jail for ten years for charging prices that are "unconscionably excessive" or take "unfair advantage" of "energy emergency" conditions. Lawyers and judges likely will spend years pondering the meaning of these words, and it is entirely unclear whether anyone ever will go to jail or pay a fine for such vaguely defined conduct. However, for Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI), the author of the House bill, it's an easy proposition. Price gouging, he explains, is just like the (in)famous definition of pornography, in that "consumers know it when they see it." And, after all, who will pity those well-paid oil executives if, despite not happening to see it the same way, they end up making license plates.
Click Here to read the complete editorial by Sutherland Energy and Environmental Practices Chair Peter Rodgers.
Fro more information regarding the proposed Anti-Price Gouging legislation and other energy legislation in the 110th Congress, please contact:
Peter H. Rodgers
Dena E. Wiggins