Gas Prices: Proposed Legislation Would Target Big Oil Companies
6/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
By Bob Dohr
Rising gas prices and allegations of a big oil price-fixing scheme have fueled a local lawmaker's push to draft legislation targeting unfair trade practices in the oil and gasoline industry.
Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) says gas prices just don't match supply and demand.
The announcement comes on the heels of news reports alleging that BP and Shell Oil were involved in a price rigging scheme dating back to 2002.
"For years many people have suspected that the game is rigged in favor of the big oil companies and big investors and against consumers," says Hansen. "Now we are seeing evidence that those suspicions were justified."
Hansen says the bill would put a mechanism in place to allow the state to seek forfeitures and restitution against any oil company or supplier convicted in criminal or civil court for price fixing.
Hansen says the goal is to go after big oil companies and the speculators on Wall Street rather than the smaller retailers on Main Street.
"In just talking to my local convenience stores, they take hits all the time when the gas prices come close to four dollars a gallon," says Hansen. "Obviously they have nothing to do with that."
Hansen says he's hoping to introduce the legislation this summer.