John McCain, R-AZ, said he was not sure whether he would hold
congressional hearings on the gas shortage caused by the Kinder
Morgan Energy Partners LP pipeline shutdown.
McCain said Aug. 29 he wanted the Federal Trade Commission to
look into the price gouging that occurred at some Phoenix area
gas stations when supplies dwindled and consumers panicked, The
Phoenix Business Journal reported.
are currently no federal anti-price gouging laws. However, companies
can be prosecuted for price fixing or collusion under both federal
and state antitrust laws.
fact is there is no short-term solution. We're going to have
price volatility and fuel changes for a least two years and
probably longer," said Todd Spencer, executive vice president
of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. "Sen.
McCain would certainly do truckdrivers and others a favor if
he held hearings on the effects of fuel price volatility and
followed up by pursuing solutions based on those hearings."
chairs the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee
and has joined other elected officials and business leaders who
want to make sure the shortage does not occur again.
state and local regulatory and consumer protection agencies, as
well as congressional offices like McCain's, were flooded with
complaints of predatory pricing during the shortage.
senator was visiting Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other international
hot spots during the local shortages but did write Transportation
Secretary Norman Mineta during the shortages, asking that federal
approvals of pipeline repairs be fast-tracked.