New Jersey effort calls for fuel price fixing probe

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Thursday, October 25, 2012

Concern in New Jersey about possible price fixing in fuel sales has spurred two state lawmakers to call for an investigation.

The national average price of fuel in September averaged nearly twice the cost of fuel between 2000 and 2009, according to a press release from Assembly Democrats Wayne DeAngelo and Benjie Wimberly. In the past month, fuel prices are more than a dollar higher than two years ago.

An effort halfway through the statehouse would urge the state Attorney General to investigate whether price fixing in the sale of motor fuels, including diesel, is responsible for the escalation and fluctuation of fuel prices in New Jersey since January 2009.

Assembly lawmakers voted 74-4 to advance the resolution – AR15 – to the Senate for further consideration.

The resolution would have the attorney general’s office report the results of the investigation to the governor and state lawmakers as soon as possible.

DeAngelo said the fuel price fluctuations raise serious concerns that merit looking into.

“Nowadays you never know what you will encounter at the gas station, with prices fluctuating wildly from day to day,” DeAngelo of Mercer/Middlesex said in a statement. “What’s causing this?”

The resolution notes how exorbitant fuel price increases in the past two years “have raised the specter that petroleum companies and speculators involved in the buying and selling of motor fuels are conspiring to increase profits, fix prices, and create artificial shortages” at the public’s expense.

“It is incumbent that we look into and figure out whether these increases are legitimate or fabrications,” stated Wimberly of Passaic/Bergen. “I’m certain most drivers would like to know too.”

To view other legislative activities of interest for New Jersey, click here.

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