FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

House Democrats Buckle to Big Oil

Behold the spineless Democratic Party.

On Iraq, no deadlines.

On trade, no enforceable worker protections.

Now, on oil industry price gouging, collapse.

In the face of withering pressure from the oil industry, the Democrats in the House, led by Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Michigan), have reportedly castrated their own legislation.

Stupak’s original bill–HR 1252–would make it unlawful to sell crude oil, gasoline, natural gas, or petroleum distillates at a price that “is unconscionably excessive” or “indicates the seller is taking unfair advantage unusual market conditions (whether real or perceived) or the circumstances of an emergency to increase prices unreasonably.”

The law would be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

But according to a report by Darren Goode in Congress Daily AM, late last night, Stupak “added a trigger to his bill allowing the FTC to go after price gougers only during presidentially-declared energy emergencies.”

In other words–almost never.

Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch called the move “pretty unfortunate.”

Slocum said that Stupak’s original bill would have given the FTC long needed powers to go after oil companies in situations like the one the country is facing today–skyrocketing gasoline prices.

“There is no question that the record high gasoline prices we are seeing today amount to just a transfer of wealth,” Slocum said. “Up until this point, the FTC has not moved, because the antitrust laws on the books are so weak. There is no price gouging law currently on the books.”

Stupak and more than 100 House members said they wanted to put that law on the books. But now, it looks like the Democrats have once again caved to the dominant corporate powers that be.

The House will vote on the bill later today.

Slocum said that Public Citizen was strongly in favor of the original Stupak bill.

But if the bill is going to be similar to a bill introduced by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Washington)–only enforceable in times of energy emergencies–Public Citizen would not fight for it.

“This shows the oil industry still holds sway over the Democratic Party,” Slocum said. “Things are definitely different, but not that much different. Are you going to see the Democrats taking big swings at Big Oil? No.”

Stupak’s office did not return calls seeking comment.

Slocum said that some environmental groups want to see higher gasoline prices so that Americans drive less–like in Europe.

“But in Europe, the gasoline prices are higher because of taxes,” Slocum said. “And the taxes are used to fund mass transit. Here, the money goes straight to the oil companies. It’s just a transfer of wealth.”

CORPORATE CRIME REPORTER is located in Washington, DC. They can be reached through their website.

 

 

More articles by:

Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael Duggin
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
Nomi Prins 
The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
John W. Whitehead
Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them
David Swanson
The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions
J.P. Linstroth
Primates Are Us
Bill Willers
The War Against Cash
Jonah Raskin
Doris Lessing: What’s There to Celebrate?
Ralph Nader
Are the New Congressional Progressives Real? Use These Yardsticks to Find Out
Binoy Kampmark
William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate
Medea Benjamin – Alice Slater
Green New Deal Advocates Should Address Militarism
John Feffer
Review: Season 2 of Trump Presidency
Rich Whitney
General Motors’ Factories Should Not Be Closed. They Should Be Turned Over to the Workers
Christopher Brauchli
Deported for Christmas
Kerri Kennedy
This Holiday Season, I’m Standing With Migrants
Mel Gurtov
Weaponizing Humanitarian Aid
Thomas Knapp
Lame Duck Shutdown Theater Time: Pride Goeth Before a Wall?
George Wuerthner
The Thrill Bike Threat to the Elkhorn Mountains
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Selfhood and Her Ability to Act in the Public Domain: Resilience of Nadia Murad
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
On the Killing of an Ash Tree
Graham Peebles
Britain’s Homeless Crisis
Louis Proyect
America: a Breeding Ground for Maladjustment
Steve Carlson
A Hell of a Time
Dan Corjescu
America and The Last Ship
Jeffrey St. Clair
Booked Up: the 25 Best Books of 2018
David Yearsley
Bikini by Rita, Voice by Anita
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail