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State Senator

Carlo Leone

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Representing Stamford & Darien

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Contact: Dave Steuber
860-240-8616

March 28, 2012

Leone Hails Passage of Plan to Save Money at Pump, Fight Oil Profiteering

Democrats’ plan protects against price gouging, caps the gross receipts tax on wholesale gasoline

As gasoline prices top $4 a gallon and threaten to approach $5 a gallon this summer, State Senator Carlo Leone (D-Stamford) joined his colleagues in passing a proposal to help provide relief at the pump and protect consumers from profiteering and price gouging by big oil wholesalers.

“We know that people are hurting as our economy rebounds, and that ever-increasing gas prices aren’t helping. Rampant speculation in the gasoline markets continues to send prices higher and higher. At the state level, our options are limited, but in today’s bill we are doing everything we can to dampen this increase in gas prices, and keep it from stalling our still fragile economic recovery,” Senator Leone said.

The Democrats’ plan strengthens protections against price gouging, cracks down on oil profiteering, caps the gross receipts tax on wholesale gasoline, and requires that savings are passed along to consumers. The proposal:

  1. Legislatively declares a 30-day period of petroleum market scrutiny by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Department of Consumer Protection in anticipation of further wholesale price spikes.
  2. Amends the petroleum profiteering statute (C.G.S. § 42-234 et seq.) to provide for investigations of price gouging when the wholesale price rises by 15 percent or more within 90 days (the wholesale price has increased 40 cents, more than 15 percent, in the past 90 days).
  3. Grants the commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection authority to impose Unfair Trade Practice fines on large gasoline wholesalers and distributors who are in violation of profiteering laws.
  4. Puts a permanent circuit breaker on the gross receipts tax (GRT) on motor fuels at $3.00/per gallon wholesale, upon passage.
  5. Prohibits oil wholesalers and distributors (those who pay the gross receipts tax) from passing on anything purporting to be based on the tax for the portion of any sales price over $3.00 per gallon.
  6. Institutes similar profiteering protections in regards to home heating oil.
 

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Dave Steuber
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Hartford, CT 06106-1591

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