State Legislature looks into Gas Gouging

By: Sean Towle
By: Sean Towle

It's hard not to notice the dramatic increase in gas prices during the last couple of months.
Even with a slight decrease this weekend, gas prices are still close to 3-dollars.
On a national level, the president has asked the Energy and Justice Department to look into what can be done to lower the costs for consumers.
In Wisconsin, the legislature is getting involved as well.
The recent hike in gas prices has many people paying exceedingly high prices to fill up their vehicles.
"There's a lot of elements and no simple solutions," State Representative Rob Kreibich said.
Which is why the Wisconsin legislature is trying to do what they can to protect consumers.
"There are things we can do and toughening gas gouging laws are very important," Rep. Kreibich added.
There are currently no laws on the books in Wisconsin for anti-gouging.
There are laws to prevent multiple mark-ups in 24 hours, but not on charging excessively high prices.
Under the proposal the attorney general would be given the power to investigate and enforce the new laws with the possibility of penalties up to 10-thousand dollars per violation.
"It's complicated stuff," Rep. Kreibich said, "We don't want others to benefit from the misery of others."
The legislature already voted to end the automatic gas tax increase which goes into effect next april.
The price gouging bill next heads to the state senate.
"We're working on toughening up the gouging laws and we expect this to fly through the senate and onto the governor's desk and hopefully offer people a little better piece of mind," Rep. Kreibich said.


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