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McCollum Calls MN Gas Prices "Outrageous and Unacceptable"

May 21, 2013
Press Release

Washington D.C. — In response to a drastic spike in gas prices, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) today urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairwoman Edith Ramirez to initiate an investigation to determine the rationale for increased oil prices in Minnesota.

“Gas prices in Minnesota have spiked, increasing as much as $1 per gallon in the last month, to a level that has my state’s consumers paying the highest gas prices in the lower 48 states,” wrote Congresswoman McCollum. “My constituents and I find this both outrageous and unacceptable,” McCollum stated.

“A full investigation by the FTC in this unusual and excessive Minnesota price spike is warranted,” urged McCollum.

Recent news reports have attributed the extreme price increase to a shutdown of regional refineries.  The resulting closure of facilities has gasoline prices soaring, pinching the pockets of many Minnesota families, and causing a surge of people to run to the pumps. 

In 2007, Congress gave the FTC authority to investigate and prevent any manipulative or deceptive device or contrivance that could result in unjustifiably high gasoline prices.  Rep. McCollum’s letter asks for the FTC to use their unique authority to immediately initiate an investigation.

Additionally, Congresswoman McCollum requested that the FTC establish a permanent gasoline and oil market oversight unit—modeled on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Division of Energy Market Analytics—to protect consumers and markets from malicious trading practices in the future. 

 Congresswoman Betty McCollum serves on the House Appropriations Committee.