Attorney General Announces Efforts to Combat Oil and Gasoline Price Fraud

Photo by Damian Cugley. Some rights reserved.

A recent publication from Jones Day brought attention to the forthcoming formation of the Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group, where representatives from the DOJ, the National Association of Attorneys General, the CFTC, the FTC, the Treasury, the Federal Reserve Board, the SEC, and the Departments of Agriculture and Energy will come together to fight oil and gas price fraud!

Well, maybe not fight fraud. As of now, all that the Attorney General Eric Holder is asking of these Working Group members is to “explore whether there is any evidence of manipulation of oil and gas prices, collusion, fraud, or misrepresentations at the retail or wholesale levels that would violate state or federal laws and that has harmed consumers or the federal government as a purchaser of oil and gas.” (emphasis added)

As Jones Day points out, “This effort only duplicates existing efforts by multiple government agencies, none of which has found any significant evidence of anticompetitive conduct leading to higher prices.” However, Jones Day also concedes that such action “may signal more aggressive enforcement of existing laws.”

Read the Attorney General’s memo containing the announcement here, and his subsequent post on the White House Blog here.

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