Recently, the Democrat-controlled House successfully approved legislation designed to crack down on supposed price gouging by energy companies as the prices at the pump continue to dramatically elevate in the wake of the White House’s attacks on American energy independence coupled with the ongoing war in Ukraine.
The bill, which was backed by House Democrats, grants Biden broad authorities for declaring a national emergency with regards to energy, such as preventing organizations from increasing prices in a manner that is “excessive” or otherwise exploitative.
In addition, the legislation also grants the Federal Trade Commission the authority to levy various punishments on companies who are deemed guilty of price gouging.
According to Democrat Representative Kim Schrier, a co-sponsor of the bill, “Congress needs to be doing all it can to bring down costs for American families,” especially during “a time when people across the country are feeling the pinch at the gas pump.”
Schrier also remarked that it was “infuriating” that various increases in fuel prices were transpiring “at the same time that gas and oil companies are making record profits.” The Democrat representative accused energy companies of “taking advantage of international crises to make a profit.”
“This must stop,” Schrier shrieked.
The legislation passed in a closely divided legislature, with 217 voting in favor and 207 voting against. After passing the House, the bill will then move on to the Senate, where another similarly minded bill is pending. Due to the 50-50 split in the Senate, the odds of the bill passing are much more difficult.
Alleged price gouging continues to occupy the Democrats’ attention as prices at the pump soar across the nation, hitting $4.59 per gallon on average on May 19. This surge is $0.49 higher than a mere month ago, as well as $1.55 higher than a year ago, per data from AAA.
Some of the largest oil companies, including Chevron and ExxonMobil, have accrued profits of well over $40Bin the first quarter of the year, which several Democrats routinely fixate upon.
However, oil companies also face much higher costs given the fact that the price of oil is set by the global marker, rather than oil companies themselves, offsetting the gains in profits Democrats frequently rant about. Due to the escalation in costs on the producer side, Democrats eschew talking about margins, a much more logical metric to focus on with regards to price gouging, in favor of ranting about record profits to their less economically aware base.