Senator said feds have released 4.5 million barrels of oil reserves and suppliers are back on line following hurricanes.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is asking feds to establish a ‘gouge watch’ effort on the heels of August and early September that saw gas prices soar because of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Schumer said feds have released 4.5 million barrels of oil reserves and suppliers are back on line: “After disasters, gas prices should fall as fast as they rose,” Schumer stated.
The average price in the Rochester region this week is$2.76, up from $2.41 average one month ago.
In his request to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Schumer notes the quick rise in New York gas prices at the pump both ahead of and during these two hurricanes, but notes the potential of ‘sticky,’ or very slow fall of those same prices now that things are getting back to normal, also known as market-clearing.
Schumer said that the FTC should prepare to take a close look into whether big oil companies are taking advantage of consumers. He also stated that while the Federal Trade Commission has limited powers to gas price gouging, there is precedent for the agency to put pressure on the petroleum industry and see results, and that is what a Schumer-requested ‘gouge watch’ would do.