Governor Doyle: Statement of Governor Doyle on Announcement of FTC Gas Price Investigation

Ethnie Groves, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2156

New GAO Report Also Confirms Consumers Have Been Overcharged

Governor Jim Doyle today welcomed an announcement by the Federal Trade Commission that it would investigate complaints of price gouging by the oil industry, one day after Governor Doyle and seven other governors called for such an investigation and asked Congress to force the oil industry to give American consumers a refund.

“I am pleased that the Federal Trade Commission is finally recognizing that gas prices are out of control. If the FTC conducts a serious investigation, I am confident they will find that the oil companies have used the tragedy of Katrina to drive up their profit margins – which is simply despicable.

“University of Wisconsin Professor Don Nichols recently released a report that shows the regular markup between crude oil and gas prices tripled in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Today, the GAO released its own report with a similar finding: retail gasoline prices have risen faster than crude oil prices, going against the historical trend.

“Congress and the President cannot ignore the growing evidence that the big oil companies are gouging consumers. Already, Wisconsin consumers have been overcharged $88 million. With Hurricane Rita approaching, it is time to tell the oil industry to stop gouging us and give consumers the refund they are due.”

The announcement by the FTC and the GAO was reported by the Associated Press today: