Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Greg Stumbo Alerts Federal Lawmakers to Gas Price Gouging Evidence
Attorney General Stumbo today contacted members of the United States House and Senate regarding gas price gouging evidence amassed during an 18-month probe by the Office of the Attorney General. Stumbo addressed a letter to members of committees investigating national gas pricing and studying a possible federal price gouging statute, as well as to Kentucky’s entire Congressional delegation.
Stumbo's letter notes that Kentucky is the first state to sue a major oil refinery for violation of gas price gouging laws. On May 10, 2007 Stumbo filed an action alleging that Marathon Oil Corporation and two of its subsidiaries overcharged consumers more than $89 million in the months following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The letter offers to share evidence of price gouging with federal legislators in response to a Congressional subpoena.
"We will protect Kentucky consumers from profiteering by oil companies, but a national solution is needed for this growing problem," Attorney General Stumbo said. "Reliable information is the key to wise lawmaking, and Congress should examine our evidence of profiteering as it debates this issue."
The letters were sent to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (Chair Jeff Bingaman, NM); U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation (Chair Daniel Inouy, HI); The House Committee on Energy and Commerce (Chair John Dingell, MI); and The House Committee on Education and Labor (George Miller, CA).
Some matters currently pending before the committees follow: Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation - S.94–Gasoline Consumer Anti-Price Gouging Protection Act; House Committee on Energy and Commerce Committee - H.R. 1252–Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act; House Committee on Education and Labor Committee - H.R. 1252–Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act; Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on May 15, 2007 at 10:00 a.m. about Short-Term Energy Outlook: Summer 2007: Oil and Gasoline.
“Gas price gouging is not only an issue here at home, but it’s of national concern,” said Attorney General Stumbo. “My litigation team and national experts in the field of petroleum pricing have reviewed voluminous amounts of evidence in this case – evidence that may be helpful to those reviewing gas price gouging on the national level.”
The body of the letter reads: “After an 18-month investigation, my office filed the first lawsuit of its kind by a state Attorney General against a major oil refiner alleging price gouging. In the groundbreaking complaint, filed on May 10, 2007, I have alleged that Marathon Oil Corporation, and two of its subsidiaries, Marathon Petroleum, LLC and Speedway SuperAmerica, LLC, broke Kentucky’s price gouging law, KRS 367.372, et seq. This complaint is available on our website at www.ag.ky.gov.
The voluminous documentation obtained in this probe reveals that Kentucky consumers were overcharged by $89 million in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Obviously, this evidence is highly relevant to federal price gouging review and subsequent policy making. My office would be pleased to share this information in response to a Congressional subpoena.”
Attorney General Stumbo further offers his assistance in answering any questions regarding the investigation.