Bush orders probe into gas price
Updated: 2006-04-25 21:31
President Bush, under pressure to do something about gasoline prices that are
expected to stay high through the summer, ordered an investigation into possible
cheating in the markets. The government also asked states on Tuesday to guard
against unfair pricing.
During the last few days, Bush asked his Energy and
Justice departments to open inquiries into whether the price of gasoline has
been illegally manipulated, said White House press secretary Scott McClellan.
Bush planned to announce the action Tuesday during a speech in Washington.
President Bush speaks to supporters at a
fundraising luncheon for U.S. Rep. Jon Porter at the Venetian Resort Hotel
and Casino, in Las Vegas, Monday, April 24, 2006. [AP]
It's unclear what impact, if any, Bush's investigation would have on prices
that are near or at $3 a gallon or more. Asked if Bush had any reason to suspect
market manipulation, McClellan responded, "Well, gas prices are high right now,
and that's why you want to make sure there's not."
Republicans who control Congress have become concerned that the high cost of
filling up could become a problem for them in the November elections. Polls
suggest that voters favor Democrats over Republicans on the issue, and Bush gets
low marks for handling gasoline prices.
The administration sent letters Tuesday to state attorneys general urging
them to vigorously enforce state law "against any anticompetitive, anticonsumer
conduct in the petroleum industry."
"Consumers around the nation have expressed concerns about what they have
perceived as anticompetitive or otherwise unfair conduct by the world's major
oil companies," said Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Federal Trade
Commission Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras. Their letter said federal agencies
had substantially increased efforts to monitor, detect and prevent any
violations of the law.