Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

With gas prices soaring, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced today the formation of the Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group. That’s right … we’re talking about a bunch of government agencies monitoring oil and gas markets for potential violations of criminal or civil laws.

gas pumpThe new group, formed at the request of President Obama, includes reps from Department of Justice, the National Association of Attorneys General, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as the Departments of Agriculture and Energy.

“Rapidly rising gasoline prices are pinching the pockets of consumers across the country,” said Attorney General Holder.  “We will be vigilant in monitoring the oil and gas markets for any wrongdoing so that consumers can be confident they are not paying higher prices as a result of illegal activity.  If illegal conduct is responsible for increasing gas prices, state and federal authorities should take swift action.”

Speaking of pinched pockets, the station nearest my home is charging $4.07 for regular. I pumped just enough gas this past weekend to get where I needed to go. Last night, I walked to the grocery store. Tonight, my friends and I are carpooling to a restaurant for dinner.

I confess: I’m a bit worried that All Consuming readers who read this post will bombard me with complaints. You might do it anyway, but please take a moment to understand our office’s role in ensuring a competitive environment by reading www.atg.wa.gov/gasprices.aspx.  Consumers who have evidence of price-gouging, price-fixing or other antitrust violations are always encouraged to contact our office. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is a great (albeit, somewhat overwhelming) source of gas price info, too.

On a related note, the EIA will discuss energy markets during its annual energy conference April 26 and 27. So I expect we'll hear more after that.

RELATED ALL CONSUMING POST (A helpful one, I might add): Find the cheapest gas 

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