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Reformulated gas legislation could mean paying more at pump

Reformulated Gas Legislation Could Leave Consumers Paying More at the Pump
Groups Urge House to Reject Measure Defeated Last Year in Senate

Monday, June 14, 2004
Adam Goldberg, CU, 202-462-6262
(Washington, D.C.) – Consumer groups today urged the House of Representatives to reject legislation that would increase gasoline prices between 3 cents and 8 cents a gallon but would not do anything to improve air quality.
Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group sent a letter to House members today urging them to reject HR 4503, the Energy Policy Act of 2004. The House is expected to vote on the matter Tuesday.
“The last thing consumers need is legislation that increases gasoline prices while doing nothing to address the root causes of the problem – oil industry consolidation and over-reliance on oil,” the letter said. “The best way for Congress to protect consumers against future gasoline prices spikes is to prevent anti-competitive practices in the oil industry and pass strong auto fuel economy standards to reduce demand for oil.”
The groups cite an Energy Information Administration analysis of the measure that projects an increase of 3 cents per gallon in the average price of gasoline, and 8.1 cents per gallon in the average price of reformulated gas. Reformulated gasoline is blended to burn cleaner and is required by the Clean Air Act in areas with the worst air pollution, but the price increases that would be brought about by provisions in this bill would not improve air quality – just make gasoline more expensive.
The measure is virtually identical to the HR 6 conference report, which was blocked by the Senate in November.
Consumers Union and Consumer Federation of America have requested President Bush and the Federal Trade Commission investigate the current spike in gas prices, specifically examining the impact of refinery mergers on the increases as the pump.
To read the letter, click here.