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President Obama Takes on Price Gouging at the Pump

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With gas prices continuing to rise, President Obama is taking a proactive approach to America’s energy needs, which includes making investments in clean and sustainable energy sources to break our country’s addiction to oil. Also part of that effort, the President is working to protect Americans from potential price gouging.

That’s why President Obama has directed Attorney General Eric Holder to monitor oil and gasoline markets to seek out potential manipulation that would harm American families and businesses fighting to meet their bottom line.

At a town hall in Reno today, the President discussed those efforts:

Last month, I asked my Attorney General to look into any cases of price gouging, so we can make sure no one’s being taken advantage of at the pump. Today, we’re going a step further. The Attorney General’s putting together a team whose job it will be to root out any cases of fraud or manipulation in the oil markets that might affect gas prices – and that includes the role of traders and speculators. We are going to make sure that no one is taking advantage of the American people for their own short-term gain.

In a memo to the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, Holder underscored the serious role played by the task force and the importance of protecting the American public: 

Together, we will continue to be vigilant in monitoring for any wrongdoing with respect to rising oil or gasoline prices, so that Americans can be confident that they are not paying a penny more than they should at the gas pump -and that there is no violation of federal or state law, collusion, or fraud with respect to the price of the gasoline upon which our economy so vitally depends.

There are many reasons why fuel prices are on the rise, but with actions like these, President Obama has made clear that unfair and illegal manipulation of oil and gas markets will not be tolerated.