September 19, 2011 Articles

Pain at the Pump Prompts Political Action

The Department of Justice has formed a working group in response to President Obama's request to the attorney general to monitor oil and gas markets for potential fraud and wrongdoing.

By Sarah Casey – September 19, 2011

Families in the United States spent an average 7.4 percent of their budget on gasoline in 2010, with some state averages as high as 12.7 percent. "Retail Price Alert: New Year Brings Pain at the Pump," Oil Price Information Service. According to the American Automobile Association, the current average cost of regular unleaded gasoline in the United States is $3.75 per gallon, jumping more than a dollar a gallon from the $2.72 average in 2010. AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, June 8, 2011. Not surprisingly, gas prices remain at the forefront of America’s public consciousness. You cannot turn on the news, read the newspaper, or listen to the radio without hearing about rising gas prices; the phrase “pain at the pump” has become ubiquitous. A May 2011 poll ranked oil and gas prices as fifth on a list of issues that Americans believe to be the most important for the government to address, right behind unemployment, the economy, health care, and the national debt. Regina A. Corso, “Harris Poll #59: President Obama’s Job Rating Unchanged Since Early May, but Half of Americans Unlikely to Vote to Re-Elect Him,” Harris Interactive, May 19, 2011. The federal government’s most recent move to address this public concern is the formation of the Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group (the working group).

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