May 19, 2022

Rep. Watson Coleman Votes to Crack Down on Price Gouging at the Pump

Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) voted for legislation to crack down on price gouging by Big Oil companies and bring down costs for New Jersey families. The Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act takes critical steps to combat excessive price increases, empowering the federal government to outlaw artificially high fuel prices and hold Big Oil accountable.

“Rising prices hurt all of us, and fossil fuel companies are only making that pain worse. Corporations are making a conscious choice to hurt working families — the very same working families that have struggled to afford their most basic needs for decades,” said Watson Coleman.

“Big Oil’s conduct in recent months has been particularly egregious, but the problem of oil companies evading consequences for their actions is not a new one,” Watson Coleman continued. “In passing the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Act, House Democrats are making sure that oil companies finally face some accountability.”

In the months since Russia invaded Ukraine, working families have felt the pain of rising prices, both at the gas pump and through the rising cost of consumer goods and commercial transportation.  While New Jerseyans feel pain at the pump, oil and gas companies are taking advantage of our current economic and geopolitical moment by deliberately keeping production low and ensuring prices remain high. Oil executives have openly bragged about prioritizing shareholder payouts over lower costs for families. While more than 9,000 drilling permits go unused, the seven largest oil companies have announced stock buybacks that could total $41 billion this year alone.

The Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act will enable the President to issue an Energy Emergency Proclamation banning excessively high gas and home energy prices. This legislation will also empower the Federal Trade Commission to prevent market manipulation, punish bad actors and collect penalties to support the Consumer Relief Trust Fund. These actions have widespread support, with recent polling finding that an overwhelming 87 percent of Americans want Congress to crack down on price gouging by oil companies.

This legislation comes as House Democrats fight to make the U.S. economy less vulnerable to the whims of dictators like Putin by securing long-term energy independence. The Democratic House has advanced historic investments to accelerate the United States’ transition to a clean energy economy, create good-paying union jobs and free New Jersey families from dependence on foreign oil.