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September 8, 2005

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales


Attorney General of the United States
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, DC 20530

Chairwoman Deborah Majoras


Chairwoman
Federal Trade Commission
Washington, DC 20580

Dear Attorney General Gonzales and Chairwoman Majoras:

We are extremely concerned about gasoline price spikes around the country, and have
been for quite some time prior to the devastating hurricane in the Gulf Coast. While
many of us have been calling for investigations prior to this natural disaster, Hurricane
Katrina has given new urgency to our concerns about price gouging and price fixing by
the oil industry. Although supply disruptions and refinery shutdowns from the hurricane
have certainly added to the gasoline price mayhem, we believe it is only part of the
picture, and as such we are requesting an immediate investigation into other possible
wrong-doing by industries that are making record profits at the expense of average
American families.

As you know, prices at the pump have jumped precipitously overnight and news of $6
per-gallon gasoline in some parts of the country has led us to seek remedies that will
protect American families who cannot afford to meet their basic transportation needs.
This upward spiral in gas prices also hurts the businesses of small gas retailers who are at
the mercy of their corporate suppliers.

We understand that there is no federal law specifically governing price gouging, and that
price-gouging laws that do exist in states are usually triggered only when emergency
situations develop. However, since the Federal Trade Commission Act outlaws unfair or
deceptive practices in interstate commerce, including industry collusion and price fixing,
this situation warrants an investigation to ensure that unfair practices are not occurring all
along the production and supply chain, leading to unaffordable fuel costs for many
families on fixed incomes and potential shortages at the pump.

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Attorney General Gonzales and Chairwoman Majoras
Page 2
September 8, 2005

Just as the aftermath of terrorist attacks in September 2001 led to increased prices of
gasoline between 30-40 cents per gallon on the basis of speculation, not necessarily
because of shortages or increases in operating costs, we believe that the situation faced by
the country today deserves a thorough federal investigation to complement potential
statewide investigations into unfair practices, including collusion, price fixing or price-
gougmg.

As you recall, the post - September 11th investigations led to large fines to violators who
were profiteering on the backs of American families. The opportunity again exists to rein
in bad actors, and as such, we believe it is imperative that federal officials initiate a
similar investigation immediately with an eye toward vigorously prosecuting any and all
offenders.

Thank you for your immediate attention to this situation. We await your prompt response
to our urgent request.

Sincerely,

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Chairwoman Majoras
Page 3
September 7, 2005

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September7,2005

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September 7, 2005

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September 8, 2005

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September 8, 2005

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cc: Secretary of Energy Bodman
Signatories on FTC/AG letter re2ardin2 2as price investi2ation:

Hinchey
Oberstar
DeLaura
Gutierrez
Pallone
Ford
Emanuel
Engel
Payne
Moran, Jim
Towns
Kaptur
Lipinski
Olver
Capps
Schwartz, A
Stark
Costello
Moore, G
Kennedy, P
McCarthy
Rothman
Boren
Scott, D
Stupak
Hastings, A
Doyle
Etheridge
DeFazio
Michaud
Evans
Meehan
Lee,B
McCollum
Maloney
McDermott
Kanjorski
Ryan, T
Andrews
Higgins
Berkley
McNulty
Lowey
Signatories FTC/ AG letter regardinl! I!as price investil!ation (pal!e 2)

Crowley
Herseth
Bishop
Holt
Davis, S
Ackennan
Serrano
Langevin
Case
McGovern
Frank
Cleaver
Kildee
Clay, Wm
Roybal-Allard
Costa
Green, A
Levin
Berry
Farr
Watson,Diane
Markey
Hooley
Larson, J
Nadler
Holden, T
Strickland
Solis
Van Hollen
Grijalva
Barrow
Millender-McDonald
Neal
Ford
Kilpatrick
Baca
Carson, J
Scott, R
Matsui
Spratt
Harman
Baird
Lewis, John
Miller, Brad
Si!!:llatories FTC/AG letter re2ardin2 2as price investi2ation ({la2e 3)

Visclosky
Lantos
Cardin
Bordallo
Davis, Artur
Salazar
Sherman
Berman